To say that Braden Thornberry had a good round for a teenager isn't really adequate praise. The 15-year-old's Wednesday afternoon at Memphis' TPC Southwind course might be the best round any teenager has carded, ever, given the circumstances.
Playing on a course which hosts an annual PGA event, Thornberry tied the course record for low score, carding a 10-under-par 61 to completely dominate the second and final round of the Memphis Golf Association Junior Invitational.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Thornberry had scored a 69 at Ridgeway Country Club on Tuesday, producing a combined final score that earned him victory at the event by a whopping 18 strokes.
"It feels really good, especially to do it in a tournament," Thornberry told the Commercial Appeal. "I always feel like I can shoot low going into a round."
On Wednesday, TPC Southwind's total distance came in around 1,000 total yards shorter than it plays during the PGA Tour's FedEx St. Jude Classic. Yet Thornberry's 61 was no less magical, in particular because it ties the lowest score any pro has ever recorded on the course (albeit at the longer distance). In 1993 Jay Delsing scored 61 during the St. Jude Classic and Bob Estes also scored 61 at the same event in 2001.
No one had scored that low in an official recognized event since then … until Thornberry came along. Perhaps more incredibly, Wednesday's 61 wasn't even the teenager's first; he also shot 61 at North Creek Country Club as a 13-year-old.
Naturally, this means that we may have a bona fide golf phenom on our hands in the Memphis area. One doesn't just shoot 10-under-par twice and not have serious skills to back it up. The question now may simply be how long until he begins playing from the full pro distance. Clearly he's already competing at a higher level than his nearest competitors.