Thursday 29 September 2016

Fitzpatrick lays waste to Dutch course with scintillating 60

William S Callahan

Published 12/09/2015 | 02:30

England's Matt Fitzpatrick came agonisingly close to recording the first-ever 59 on the European Tour on Friday as he charged into contention in the KLM Open
England's Matt Fitzpatrick came agonisingly close to recording the first-ever 59 on the European Tour on Friday as he charged into contention in the KLM Open

Benign conditions and a course set-up which favoured spectacular scoring delivered in style for the galleries at the KLM Open in Zandvoort, Holland yesterday.

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Preferred lies were allowed due to course damage inflicted by rabbits, but great golf rather than placing advantage yielded some memorable scores.

On Thursday Paul Lawrie and Wade Ormsby enjoyed the best scores of their career when they each shot a nine-under-par 61.

If that was good, then England's Matt Fitzpatrick (20) took the baton in style with a career-best 60, having opened with a pedestrian 71.

And just to illustrate the vagaries of golf, Lawrie's Friday score was 71, ten shots worse than his first round.

Australia's Ormsby did better, shooting a 68.

The man they all have to watch, however, is the steady and efficient Irish Open champion Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark.

His second successive 64 placed him top of the leaderboard on 12 under, while David Horsey (63,66) and Ormsby were in joint second on 11 under.

The question now is how Fitzpatrick can follow up his 60.

It could even have been 59 except that his putt on the 9th, his last hole, stopped a couple of inches short.

"Shame that putt at the end came up short but I'll take 60 any day of the week," he said.

"I was thinking so much about the line I forgot about the pace of it, and it was a bit disappointing to leave it short.

"I was thinking about the 59 after the front nine to be honest. I was already celebrating going out in 28 actually so to give myself a shot at that magic number was great.

Simon Thornton's solid 68 for five under par had him tied 35th. Padraig Harrington shot 65 for the first time since the third round of the British Open to lie in joint 49th.

The cut moved to three under par, and Peter Lawrie got in on that mark thanks to his 68.

Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke, Kevin Phelan and Damien McGrane did not make it to the weekend's play.

Meanwhile in the Evian Championship in France, Ireland's Leona Maguire made the cut on three over par (72, 73)

KLM Open, Live, Sky Sports 4 (red button), 12.00pm

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