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Friday, 21 September 2018
Oliver Fisher  (Getty Images)
Oliver Fisher (Getty Images)

Oliver Fisher has made history by carding the first round of 59 on the European Tour at the Portugal Masters.

Since the formation of the European Tour in 1972 there had been 19 rounds of 60 but the magical sub-60 barrier had yet to be broken in over 690,000 rounds.

Darren Clarke had recorded 60 twice, with Brandon Stone the last man to do it at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open in July.

That all changed on Friday at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, as Englishman Fisher recorded ten birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free 12 under par effort to put his name in the history books.

After starting the day at level par, Fisher's incredible circuit moved him to 12 under and a share of the clubhouse lead with Lucas Herbert.

The Australian carded a 67 and the leading duo were three shots clear of local favourite Ricardo Gouveia, 2012 champion Shane Lowry and Swede Marcus Kinhult.

Last week's winner Wu Ashun was at eight under alongside Frenchman Raphaël Jacquelin.

Fisher started with three birdies and then eagled the par five fifth before adding further gains on the sixth and eighth to turn in 28.

He birdied the tenth and 11th and when he got on the green at the par five 12th in two and made a third birdie in a row, he was ten under for the day.

The 30 year old got up and down from the side of the driveable par four 15th for another birdie but needed to hole a 20-footer to save par at the par three next after leaving his tee-shot a long way from the hole.

He got on the par five 17th in two and another birdie meant a routine par up the last sealed his place in the history books.

It feels great. It was fun, I tried to enjoy it and thankfully I got over the line - Oliver Fisher

“It feels great,” he said “I started off the round great with three straight birdies and then kept it going. I saw that you guys were out here and it was in the back of my mind all day.

“I'm just pleased that I two-putted there from 40-foot on the last.

“It was a great day, my caddie was great, it was very different to a couple of years ago on this green fighting to keep my card. I had that in the back of my mind, thinking 'do you know what? Things could be worse'.

“It was fun, I tried to enjoy it and thankfully I got over the line."

Scott Jamieson is one of those with a 60 to his name and the Scotsman had a putt for a 59 in his third round at this event in 2013.

Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts also had a putt for a 59 at the rain-shortened 2014 edition but that would not have been official with preferred lies in place.

It took 16 years for anyone to record a 60 on the European Tour, with David Llewellyn the first at the 1988 AGF Biarritz Open, although Biarritz Golf Club was a par 68.

Jamie Spence, Bernhard Langer, Clarke, Fredrik Jacobsen, Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Brandt Snedeker and Peter Uihlein all achieved 60s on par 72s, making Fisher's effort a joint-record to par.

Herbert eagled the par five fifth and birdied the 11th before doing well to save par after finding water on the 12th. Another gain on the 17th moved him alongside Fisher after a bogey-free effort.

Gouveia went bogey-birdie from the 13th but then delighted the home crowds with seven birdies in eight holes before three poor chips led to a triple-bogey on the ninth and a 66.

Lowry parred his first nine holes but the Irishman birdied the first, third and fifth before dropping a shot on the ninth.

Kinhult was flying with birdies on the tenth, 12th, 14th, 15th, 18th and first before he parred his final eight holes in a bogey-free 65.

Chinese Wu carded an excellent 64, with Jacquelin recording a 68 to sit a shot ahead of Spaniard Jorge Campillo, Scot Stephen Gallacher, 2011 champion Tom Lewis and South African pair Charl Schwartzel and Richard Sterne.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LEWIS, TomENG18-22
T2PEPPERELL, EddieENG18-19
T2HERBERT, LucasAUS18-19
T4LEE, SoominKOR18-17
T4KINHULT, MarcusSWE18-17
6LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-16

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