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Top 10 rounds of golf in Tucson history

Top 10 rounds of golf in Tucson history

Willie Kane, a Salpointe Catholic High School and University of Arizona graduate, swings at the course on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2003, where he shot a 58 while at Randolph Golf Course which is the lowest score in Tucson, Ariz., history. Photo by A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star

Editor’s note: This summer, Star columnist Greg Hansen is counting down the top 10 of just about everything related to Tucson sports.

Today’s list: The top 10 rounds of golf in Tucson history.

Willie Kane shot rounds of 60, 61, 62 and 63 at Randolph South (now Dell Urich Golf Course) in the 1980s. It intensified his will to break 60.

He desperately wanted to shoot 58 — not 59 — because every time he got a drink at the Randolph golf complex, the 1979 scorecard of Armen Dirtadian was on display above the water fountain.

Dirtadian shot 59 in 1977 and was the only Tucsonan to break 60 until Aug. 29, 1989. That’s the day Kane’s dream came true.

He eagled the No. 3 and No. 6 holes to start, and soon eagled No. 12. The race was on. When Kane, then 26, a former UA golfer from Salpointe Catholic High, reached the 17th tee he sensed that out of thousands of rounds of golf, this would be the one for posterity.

“I was saying to myself, ‘I’m 11-under par,” he told me in 2003. “A few minutes later I was running around screaming.”

Kane drained a 15-foot birdie putt on 18 to shoot 58. It was 12-under par. It was the lowest round in Tucson history — including all of the PGA and LPGA touring pros — matched 14 years later Arizona All-American Chris Nallen.

Tucson has six members of the 59 (or 58) club, which is unusually high for any city. Here’s our list of the Top 10 rounds of golf in Tucson history: 

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Greg graduated from Utah State, worked at two Utah newspapers, the St. Petersburg Times, the Albany Democrat-Herald in Oregon and moved to Tucson to cover UA football and baseball. He became the Star's sports columnist in 1984.

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