European Tour Member Richard Green was a finger touch away from history after a sensational final round 64 in The Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Only seven players – Mark Hayes, Isao Aoki, Greg Norman, Paul Broadhurst, Jodie Mudd, Nick Faldo and the late Payne Stewart – have carded rounds of 63 in Open Championship history and the left handed Australian ever so nearly joined that group.
A wonderful first 17 holes saw the 36 year old notch birdies at the second, third, sixth, ninth, 13th and 17th and an eagle three at the 14th to stand at eight under par for his round.
He needed a par four at the treacherously difficult 499 yard par four 18th for a 63 but after a pushed drive, he could only play up short of the Barry Burn with his second shot. A delicate pitch left the winner of last month’s BA-CA Golf Open, presented by Telekom Austria with a ten footer for par but the ball slipped past the cup.
Nevertheless, Green had the considerable consolation of equalling the lowest round ever carded in an Open Championship at Carnoustie – the 64 of American Steve Stricker in the third round on Saturday – and the course record for the Championship Course itself, jointly held by Scottish professionals Colin Montgomerie and Alan Tait.