Seth Fair struck a 4-iron to 4 feet on the par-3 17th hole at Ulen Country Club in Lebanon, Indiana, and drained the putt for birdie. On the cart ride to the 18th tee, he turned to his buddy, Michael Davan, and said: “We’re just going to go ahead and talk about it. I need to make another birdie.”
A birdie on the 18th would give Fair an 11-under 59 at the Ulen Open, a rather remarkable feat given the fact that he’d piped a drive out of bounds on the third hole.
Fair, 33, found the fairway, knocked a wedge to 15 feet and poured in the putt.
“Probably one of the best feelings I’ve had in my golf career,” he said. “It is kind of crazy to say that I shot 59 with a ball out bounds.”
Fair’s friends went nuts on the 18th. They tried to tell some buddies going off in the afternoon wave that Fair had posted 59.
“They kept driving like, ‘yeah, right’ ” said Fair. “Then they hit the brakes. Really?”
Fair, a 2010 University of Indianapolis grad, has full status on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, which was canceled this season due to COVID-19. He didn’t play in a tournament from March to mid-June and then got going on the new Tour Red circuit, winning four events around the Midwest. In late June he won the Metropolitan Open in St. Louis.
“Seth was a very mature player in college,” said Indy coach Brent Nicoson. “He learned early in his career when to attack pins and when to play the smart sides, which made him very consistent and very successful.”
It’s about a 15-minute ride from Fair’s house in Whitestown, Indiana, to Ulen County Club in Lebanon. Twice this year the Ulen Open had been postponed. First because of COVID-19 and then due to rain.
The field was smaller than usual, but Fair knew it would be a fun day among friends. He’d just teed it up in a charity event the day before and the perspective of playing for a cause had refreshed his attitude.
“There are things out in the world and life that are bigger than my golf score,” said Fair. “I kind of just had that mindset (at Ulen), just go and enjoy myself and have fun.”
Wednesday’s round started out with a 12-foot birdie putt left short in the heart. After draining a 30-footer for birdie on the second hole, Fair rifled one “right of right” out of bounds on the third hole. He made a 20-footer to save par, thinking it could’ve been worse.
After taking an aggressive line over the trees on the short par-4 fourth, he flubbed his approach from 40 yards, only to make a 30-footer for birdie.
“Guys, I think this is just going to be a weird round,” Fair told his playing competitors.
Because the event changed dates twice, the field size was smaller than usual. Fair earned $800 for his winning efforts and celebrated back home with a glass of champagne with his wife.
“They could’ve not paid me anything,” said Fair, “and I wouldn’t have cared.”