Doug Dunakey Recalls Shooting 59

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Written by Mark Cardon   

Doug Dunakey’s memory was jolted several weeks ago when he read that Paul Goydos shot a 59 in the first round of the John Deere Classic on the PGA Tour.
While playing on the Nike Tour, Dunakey fired a 59 in the Miami Valley Open near Dayton, Ohio.

In contrast to Goydos, who was elated after shooting 59, Dunakey recalled that he came off the 18th green very angry. He could have posted 58, but the Port Charlotte resident three-putted the final hole.
“You have to have a lot going for you to shoot 59,” he said.
Ironically, shooting 59 does not guarantee a tournament victory. Dunakey and Goydos failed to win their tournaments. However, the following week, Dunakey shot a final-round 65 to win the Cleveland Open.
The year was 1998, and Dunakey played well enough to finish 15th on the Nike Tour, earning an automatic exemption on the PGA Tour. 
After struggling for several years on the PGA Tour, Dunakey opted to retire and join his wife and family in Port Charlotte. Currently, he teaches English at Lemon Bay High School and coaches the boys’ golf team.
“I didn’t watch golf on television for five years and didn’t play much until I started coaching the boys,” Dunakey said.
The high school golfers know who he is and that he played on the PGA Tour, where he had a tie for third in the Honda Classic and a tie for fifth in the Greater Greensboro Classic. Not many prep golfers have a former tour pro as their coach.
The students have coaxed him into showing them how he did it. He played in a Pro-Am fundraiser on Saturday. At 47, Dunakey is only three years shy of being eligible for the Champions Tour.
“I am having an inkling,” he said. “But it would take me a year to get back in playing shape.”
No matter what he decides, nobody can ever take that 59 away from him. He is in an elite club.

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