Home » Mr. 55: Remembering the ‘record’ round shot by Homero Blancas

Mr. 55: Remembering the ‘record’ round shot by Homero Blancas

If the Korn Ferry Tour’s Cristobal del Solar, who shot 13-under 57 Thursday at the Astara Golf Invitational, now shares the record for lowest professional golf round ever recorded, then who holds the low mark for all tournament play?

That would be Homero Blancas.

Blancas was a 24-year-old recent graduate of the University of Houston when he posted the record number – a 15-under 55 – in the final round of the Premier Golf Invitational on Aug. 19, 1962, at Premier Golf Course in Longview, Texas, about an hour west of Shreveport, Louisiana. Future legends of the game such as Ben Crenshaw, Charles Coody and Tom Kite frequented events like the Premier, a 54-hole amateur tournament and one of the regular stops on the popular “Beer and BBQ Circuit.”

Blancas, who is now 85, would go on to have a successful pro career, too, winning four times on the PGA Tour and posting top-5s at both the Masters and U.S. Open in 1972. But before all that he found himself in the later summer of 1962 at Premier Golf Course, a 5,002-yard, nine-hole layout constructed around an oil refinery that despite its length – or lack thereof – challenged players with tight corridors and out of bounds everywhere. According to Golfweek’s Adam Schupak, a player once shot 71 at Premier … with 11 penalty strokes.

After opening with rounds of 70-69 in four Saturday loops around Premier and trailing former Houston teammate Fred Marti by seven shots, Blancas is reported to have ventured over to Bossier City, Louisiana, that evening and partied with some pals early into Sunday morning. Legendary golf writer Bill Fields wrote for Golf World that Blancas nearly got in a serious car accident that night, the car he was traveling in missing a turn, skidding through a gas station and nearly striking a pump. Blancas got little sleep before the second half of the tournament, which Blancas kickstarted with a morning 62 and pulled to within five of Marti.

“I was a little groggy,” Blancas told Pat Wheeler of the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “Maybe my instincts just took over.”

Blancas’ record round began with a birdie at the first hole. He then skulled a chip at the second, though his ball hit the flagstick and dropped in the hole for an eagle. He sandwiched a missed 3-footer for birdie at the fifth hole with two birdies on each end, and he turned in 8-under 27 after a birdie at the ninth.

The final spin around the Premier nine, Blancas birdied six of his first eight holes, though he parred the par-5 second, his 11th hole of the round. At the par-3 eighth, Blancas’ 17th, he hit his 45-foot birdie putt with too much pace, but again he got a lucky bounce, his ball hitting the back of the cup, popping into the air and landing in the hole.

Blancas still had one more bounce to go his way. His final hole, a par-5, saw Blancas hit a wayward drive that was destined to go out of play until it hit a tree, which knocked the ball into the fairway. Blancas laid up, then hit his next shot to 4 feet for his 13th and final birdie of the round. He needed just 20 putts to get around.

As for the leaderboard, Blancas rocketed past Marti, who closed in 66, and won by six.

“You get in a zone,” Blancas told Fields, “and to some extent I never felt like I did during the 55, ever again.”

While Guinness originally recognized Blancas with a world record, it later removed Blancas’ 55 from the books and established a minimum yardage requirement of 6,500 yards for a score to count. Five others have shot 57 in competition – Bobby Wyatt (2010 Alabama Boys Junior), Alex Ross (2019 Dogwood Invitational), David Carey (2019 Cervino Open on Alps Tour), Macy Pate (2021 Central Piedmont 4A Conference Championship) and del Solar. Of that group, only Ross played a course measuring over 6,500 yards.