It's a magic number

60 and out, we look at those players who have had come closest to breaking golf’s most revered number.

Pat Perez, Arron Oberholser and Justin Rose ? not three golfers you would naturally put together, in fact place them in a room and you might struggle to think of what sport it is that binds them together. However, the trio have joined a select band of golfers who for one glorious afternoon have teetered on the edge of history before falling gently away, back to obscurity some might say.

On the first day of last week?s Funai Disney Classic Justin Rose (pictured) came to the final green, with his ball sitting 14ft from the hole. One more stroke of his sweet putter and the young Englishman would have broken the magic barrier and been round the Palm Course in 59 miserly shots. He didn?t, the putt reached the hole, but then flashed by, leaving it and history, untouched.

Rose can point to other missed attempts from closer range at 13 and 16 but in the end he is left with ifs and buts and a great round, but not a legendary round. He joins Perez, Oberholser (who both did it this year) and 16 others to have shot 60 on the PGA Tour. This list includes the likes of Sam Snead, Tommy Bolt and Phil Mickelson but none of those players of the ilk of Jones, Nicklaus and Woods have ever had a true shot at this particular piece of history. However, all 19 on this list must have felt at some time that they had it under control and a 59 was theirs to grab and cherish.

England?s Phillip Archer knows exactly how they felt. He had a better chance than most when he walked up the final fairway at this year?s Celtic Manor Wales Open. His ball had settled just seven feet from the flag. The 34-year-old says that when he struck his putt he thought it was in? it lipped out.

History is a fickle bedfellow and it?s an unlikely trio who do sit atop of the pile, proudly looking down on the rest of the golfing world. Al Geiberger, the one-time Major winner, was the first man to do it, in 1977 at the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic. It took another 14 years for fellow American Chip Beck to follow Geiberger into the record books. The former Ryder Cup player performed the miracle at the 1991 Las Vegas International. David Duval, the impenetrable Texan, was even persuaded to take his sunglasses off when he joined the triumvirate at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrylser tournament.

It?s a rare old number - not once in the 105 year history of the European Tour has anyone made the 50s, despite the fact that 13 players have come as close as you can get. The incomparable Annika Sorenstam is the only person to have done it on the LPGA Tour and, lets face it, that?s no surprise.

For the likes of Justin Rose and Philip Archer, 2006 will always be remembered fondly but perhaps with just an unshakeable pang of regret.

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