CanOpen Note: When is a course record a course record?

The silky swing of Al Balding.

When is a course record a course record? That’s the question about journeyman Vance Veazey’s round yesterday. The long time Nationwide and PGA Tour pro, who hails from Mississippi, shot 64 on a soft golf course that didn’t live up to its early billing, in which pros suggested it would be U.S. Open tough.
Veazey says he once shot a course record 64 at the Western Open when it was played at Cog Hill in Chicago, but it was not discussed since a player named Tiger Woods shot 63 later that same day.
The course record at St. George’s isn’t clear as crystal. Toronto’s Al Balding shot 8-under 64 at the course during the 1960 Canadian Open, when the course played as a par-72, though only 6,710 yards long. The course was toughened by architect Robbie Robinson for the 1968 tournament, with the 4th and 15th holes being turned from two-shot holes into par-5s. The tournament was played as a par-70 that year, with a yardage of 6,790, when George Knudson card a 6-under to match Balding’s mark.
So what is the accurate course record? Tour officials at the Canadian Open yesterday said they recognized the score of 64, regardless of the par of the course when it was shot. Balding often complained later in his life that St. George’s only recognized Knudson’s score, ignoring his due to the changes to the golf course.
Veazey says his only other course record is at Back Acres Country Club in Senatobia, Miss., a 6,300-yard course he grew up playing. He shot 61 there and joked, “it is a much more difficult golf course,” than St. George’s. Asked if there was a plaque commemorating his score, Veazey joked, “No, but they might have the score card.”

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