Wednesday 21 August 2019

Irish Open 2019: Course and tournament record smashed at Lahinch as Robert Rock is inches away from elusive 59

Robert Rock of England putts on the 18th during day three of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club in Lahinch, Clare. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Robert Rock of England putts on the 18th during day three of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch Golf Club in Lahinch, Clare. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Tony Considine

Englishman Robert Rock has smashed both the Irish Open and Course record at Lahinch with round of 60 catapulting him to the top of the leaderboard.

A staggering run of five straight birdies from 13 through 17 had left the 2009 runner-up with a chance of a 59 facing into the par five 18th but, having made the fringe of the green in two, dragged his eagle putt just passed the hole.

The tap-in birdie meant that his score beat the course record of 63 set by Padraig Harrington on Thursday and the tournament record of 61 shared by by Graeme McDowell and Ross Fisher.

"The finish was a bit much really, I holed a really long putt on 17 and it was only when I was walking to the second shot on 18 and checked the par (of the course) that I realised it was an eagle for 59," Rock said afterwards.

"It's disappointing not to make it but 60 is a great score and I've played rubbish so far this season so it's nice to play better."

"I'm 42 now and I've always wanted to shoot a low score like this, I've seen others do it over the years and wondered if I'd get the chance."

At -13, Rock will certainly be in contention tomorrow and the Staffordshire golfer insisted he'd learned from his defeat of a decade ago.  

"I'd love it to be but that tournament 10 years ago was still fantastic, Shane deserved to win and he has been fantastic," remarked Rock.

"That was my first real chance to win a tournament and there were things I'd do differently now than I did then".

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