[PHOTO: Jason Butler]

John Catlin’s pro golf career has been nothing if not a bit unusual. The 33-year-old American is a three-time winner on the DP World Tour (all in a seven-month span) but has played in just 13 PGA Tour events. One of them was the 2021 PGA Championship, in which he received a one-shot penalty for slow play, the first given out at a major championship in nearly a decade. And Catlin also was also among three golfers hit with a three-shot slow-play penalty during final qualifying for the 2021 US Open that cost him a chance to play at Torrey Pines that year.

On Saturday, the former University of New Mexico golfer added another quirky entry on his résumé at the International Series Macau. After rolling in a 20-foot eagle putt on the final hole at China’s Macau Golf & Country Club, Catlin shot a bogey-free 11-under 59 in the third round, becoming the first player to break 60 in the history of the Asian Tour.

“It’s pretty crazy,” said Catlin, who holds a two-shot lead over Jason Kokrak with 18 holes to play as he attempts to win his fifth career Asian Tour title. “It hasn’t totally sunk in yet.”

Catlin’s accomplishment comes with a bit of an asterisk, with the field playing under the local rule allowing preferred lies because of wet conditions on the course.

Golf’s magic number is something that has captured Catlin’s imagination for a while. He said after the round he noted that the password he uses all end with 59.

This is the fourth sub-60 score posted in men’s pro golf in 2024. Joaquin Niemann shot a 59 at the LIV Golf Mayakoba event in February. Cristobal Del Solar did that two better with a 57 at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Astara Golf Championship, where Aldrich Potgeieter shot a 59 of his own.