Brandon Harkins may have shot one of the least talked about best golf nine of the year.

The 35-year-old Northern California native shot 28 of the return nine at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links in the TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational on Thursday. We repeat: 20-frigging-eight! He did so by landing eight consecutive birdies starting at No.11. Now it’s golf with your ball.

On a cold, windy day, Harkins got up and down for a par ho-hum at No.10, his first hole of the 72-hole tournament, before the fireworks started. As he described it, he made a few birdies and then a few more.

“The amateur team in my group was like, ‘It’s four in a row.’ I thought, ‘Yeah, I guess you’re right.’ Then I made a few more and they said, ‘Damn, that’s six in a row.’ Then they stopped talking about it, ”recalls Harkins in a telephone interview. “When we made the turn, I could hear them whispering, ‘That’s eight in a row’. I was like, ‘Guys, you can talk as much as you want. That does not bother me. “

Harkins missed a 10-foot birdie at No.1, his 10e hole of the day. When he birdied the second par 5, he was 9 under 11 holes and dreams of 59 entered his mind. “I was like, ‘I still have easy holes to come,'” he said. “But then I went back to being a human being and started to pair.”

He “was happy” to shoot 9-under 63, sticking a few approaches in the tap-in range, but also punching a 15-20-foot grip, some of which broke four feet.

“There was a streak of a few hours that I couldn’t miss,” he said.

Harkins played the PGA Tour in 2018-19, but fell outside the top 150 and was demoted to the Korn Ferry Tour, where he will replay the coming season after finishing 48th on the 2020-21 earnings list.

Harkins is no stranger to the Pebble Beach Invitational. He earned an exemption on his first tournament appearance for winning the Monterey Open at the Del Monte Golf Course, and has been invited to participate since rising through the ranks of golf.

The Pebble Beach Invitational celebrated its 50e edition last week. Played on three courses – The Links at Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill Golf Course were the others – it featured a unique course with ladies such as Brittany Lincicome, Gerina Piller and Juli Inkster playing from the front tees, seniors such as Kirk Triplett, Billy Andrade and Brandel Chamblee, who ended up retiring in the second round, playing from a combo of white and blue markers, and promising pros such as Justin Suh (4e), Isaiah Salinda (T-5) and Austin Eckroat (T-5), playing from the points.

Harkins, who was born in Lafayette, Calif., Grew up in the Bay Area suburb of Walnut Creek and played his college golf course in Chico State, is familiar with the tournament course rotation taking lessons from Laird Small, principal of teaching at Pebble Beach Academy. , and finished T-15 in the 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

He continued his first round 63 with laps of 67 at Spanish Bay, 71 at Spyglass and a 66 at Pebble to shoot 21 under 267 and win the title by two strokes over Alex Cejka and Harry Hall. Harkins wasn’t even sure how much he had won, but whatever amount – he thought between $ 50,000 and $ 70,000 – it looked pale in comparison to being able to say he won one. tournament at Pebble Beach.

“Growing up in the region and winning there,” he said, “it’s pretty cool.

So was shooting 28 and eight birdies in a row at one of golf’s greatest cathedrals.