By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LAKE FOREST, Illinois (Reuters) - Brandt Snedeker was the forgotten man at the BMW Championship on Friday, despite ending the second round tied for the lead, after he was totally overshadowed by co-leader Jim Furyk's magical 59.
While Snedeker played well in tricky, gusting conditions to shoot a three-under-par 68 at Conway Farms Golf Club, he was dumbfounded after learning that Furyk had become only the sixth player to fire a 59 on the PGA Tour.
"The greens were really firm, they were really fast and crusty," a wide-eyed Snedeker told reporters after finishing at 11-under 131. "The winds ... they were real inconsistent on direction. That's just an unbelievable round of golf."
Snedeker had seen Furyk's name next to his at the top of various leaderboards positioned out on the course but initially thought very little of it in the belief that his co-leader had opened with at least a 67 at Conway Farms.
In fact, Furyk had carded a one-over 72 on Thursday before rocketing into a two-way tie at the top with a dazzling mix of 11 birdies, one bogey and an eagle at the par-four 15th.
"And then on 18 I saw on a Jumbotron that he needed a birdie on the last hole to shoot 59, and I thought, 'What the heck, are you serious? There's no way.'
"And it's a par 71, so that's even more impressive," grinned Snedeker. "And on a day like this when the wind is blowing 20 miles an hour out of the north, I don't think anybody out here saw that score coming."
Furyk hit every fairway and reached 17 of 18 greens in regulation on his way to a 59 when the day's next best score was 65, posted jointly by fellow Americans Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker.
The average score on Friday was a shade over par, at 71.03.
"How Jim is doing what he's doing out there, I have no idea," said Snedeker, the reigning FedExCup champion who has triumphed twice on the PGA Tour this year.
Told that Furyk's 59 included a bogey, Snedeker dead-panned: "That makes me feel depressed about my round. I was actually feeling pretty good about it walking up here.
"Besides two loose drives, I thought I hit the ball pretty well. It was a tough day. Whenever you have a really low round like yesterday it's tough to follow it up," added the American, who had opened with a bogey-free 63.
"To go out there and shoot a good round like I did today is a really good thing, and gives me a lot of momentum going into the weekend."
Asked whether he could recall being the forgotten man as a co-leader at any previous tournament, Snedeker smiled: "I love it. I guess my job now is to make sure that everybody forgets about it by Sunday.
"That's great that he went and did that. Jim has been a consummate professional forever. This has got to be the round of his career just about. It's pretty special. It will be fun playing with him tomorrow."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Peter Rutherford)