(CNN) -- Jim Furyk has won a major and was in the top 10 in the rankings for about a decade but lately he's been known for near misses instead of big titles.
He couldn't maintain his advantage heading into the final round of this year's PGA Championship and also blew a lead at last year's U.S. Open.
Furyk, however, didn't falter at the BMW Championship on Friday as he became only the sixth man on the PGA Tour to card a 59. He must like competing in Illinois, since he captured the U.S. Open 10 years ago in the same state.
Furyk struck 11 birdies and an eagle in his second round.
Although he cooled after firing a 28 in his first nine holes, Furyk birdied the ninth -- a short putt -- to tie the record that was last matched in 2010 by Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby.
The crowd at Conway Farms roared its approval and Jason Dufner was one of those rooting for Furyk. At the PGA Championship it was Furyk who congratulated Dufner, the winner.
"I just told myself on nine, 'How many opportunities in your life are you going to have to do this ever again?'" Furyk said in a televised interview shown by Sky Sports.
"It'll sink in later," the 43-year-old added. "I'm excited. The second part of that is I'll have to calm down later on tonight and realize I've got myself in contention in a golf tournament. I'll enjoy this one for a few hours at least and have fun with it."
Indeed based on his first-round showing, there was no hint of what was to come. Furyk, now the world's 15th-ranked golfer, struggled Thursday, carding a one-over-par 72, and he was nine shots behind overnight leader Brandt Snedeker.
Now he is tied for the lead with his fellow American.
The highlight of Furyk's round had to be an eagle on the 15th.
"I watched the gallery and they started standing up and the arms went up, and that's how I knew it went in," said Furyk, who won the last of his 16 PGA titles in 2010.
"Usually on Sundays I don't ever sleep, whether I play good or poorly. I'm always running back the moments of the day I could have improved -- there's not much I could have improved today so I think I'll sleep well."
Furyk and Snedeker hold a three-shot lead over Zach Johnson while world No. 1 Tiger Woods is seven shots behind.
Rory McIlroy's poor season continued as he's in 70th -- last place. But with no cut, he is guaranteed two more rounds.