Dating back to 1873, there had been over 13,146 professional rounds on the Old Course at St. Andrews without a score below 62: enter Victor Dubuisson and Ross Fisher.
The duo both threatened the course record of 62 (held by Dubuisson amongst others) on Sunday and Fisher went on to break the previously set Old Course record with a final-round 61 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.Embed from Getty Images
Both Dubuisson and Fisher went out in 29 – with seven birdies and two pars apiece – and headed towards the conclusion of their rounds not only on track to break to course record, but with a chance of posting the first European Tour 59s.
The European Tour has famously longed for a round in the 50s, with its cross-Atlantic counterpart having seen nine (and two in 2017 alone). Today it’s prayers were almost answered as Fisher came two-shots short of ending the wait.
With three holes to play Dubuisson had shot 50; three birdies on the three remaining par fours would earn a 59 whilst taking 11 of 12 par shots would make Old Course history. Likewise, Ross Fisher was at 42; playing the last five in three-under-par would mark a 59 and just one-under a 61.Embed from Getty Images
Dubuisson three-putted for bogey on the 16th and effectively ended his hopes of a 59, but a perfect drive on the 17th kept hopes of a sub-62 round alive. Meanwhile Fisher continued his quest for a 59 in the best possible fashion, adding a fourth consecutive birdie, and 10th of the day, at the 14th.
A par for Dubuisson on the 17th meant only an eagle on the last would break his own record, an eagle he would not make and would have to settle for par and a 63 leaving him one-shot shy of tying the record he set back in 2012.
Fisher went par-par on the 16th and 17th meaning for a 59 he would also need to finish with an eagle. A par on the short 72nd hole of the tournament would secure the course record at the Home of Golf.
The Englishman’s drive crept onto the green but rolled back to inches short; he was left with a definite chance at eagle for a record-breaking 59. Fisher’s long putt would slip just left of the hole and meant he would just miss out on European Tour history as well as St Andrews history.
The finish would be somewhat underwhelming, too, as a short birdie putt lipped-out meaning it would only be a 61 for Fisher; the Old Course would have a new record-holder, nevertheless.
Fisher’s sublime final-round was not enough for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title, though. Tyrrell Hatton began the day with a five-shot lead and did enough with a 66 to keep clear of Fisher and Dubuisson despite their charges. Hatton would make history of his own by becoming the first-man to successfully defend this title.Embed from Getty Images