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For all the talk of a 59 at The Open the actual course record on the Old Course is 61 which was set by Ross Fisher.
The Englishman’s stellar round came in the Dunhill Links in 2017 and, as is often the case, could have been even better. Fisher actually came to the 18th needing an eagle for a 59 – can you imagine if that were to happen at the Home of Golf – but he then ‘only’ parred the last. Putting up the slope he left it four feet short which he then saw slip by.
His outward half was a thing of beauty – Fisher birdied 2, 3 and 4 before leaving his eagle putt at the next on the lip. Further birdies followed at 7, 8 and 9 to be out in seven-under 29.
There was yet another hat-trick of red figures from the 12th before slowing to a normal pace with three successive pars – he would get up and down from the road at the 17th – and the par at the 18th meant that he was home in 32 for a 61, 11-under par.
That was good enough for second place, three whole shots behind Tyrrell Hatton who ended his week in Fife at a ridiculous 24-under par.
“It was fun. I felt like there was a good one in me around here, because you saw the forecast, and it was still a bit chilly but there wasn't much breeze. When you get St. Andrews on a day like this, it's definitely bearable, but you still have to hit the shots. I birdied 2, 3, 4 and hit a lovely 3-wood into 5, and left it literally hanging on the lip to be 5-under through five and I then kind of caught fire a bit on the back nine,” Fisher explained.
“I saw the lines really well at Kingsbarns and it's one thing seeing the lines but you've still got to roll the putt on the correct line with the right speed and make them, and to see them go in towards the end of the round gave me a lot of confidence and belief that what I was doing was working.”
Earlier in the day Victor Dubuisson also shot a 29 on the front side before settling for a 63. The stroke average on the day was 68.76 with 60 of the 68 players shooting in red figures.
As for the prospect of that 59 the R&A’s chief executive has no problem with it.
“Fifty nine is 13-under par around this course. There's 7,300 yards. It's got greens that are running at 10.5 to 11. It's got fairways where the ball is bouncing 50 yards if it's hit and more if it catches the downslope. I'll tell you what, if someone shoots that, I will be the first person on the 18th green to shake their hand because they have played outstanding golf.”
New course record for the oldest course in the world ✍🏻Congratulations @RossFisher! pic.twitter.com/Xv8BQDGq4mOctober 8, 2017
Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.
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