Oliver Fisher shoots European Tour record 59 at Portugal Masters

Portugal Masters second-round leaderboard
-12 O Fisher, E Pepperell (both Eng), L Herbert (Aus); -11 M Wallace (Eng); -10 R Paratore (Ita), H Li (Chi), A Saddier (Fra); -9 R Gouveia (Por), S Lowry (Ire), M Kinhult (Swe), J Scrivener (Aus)
Selected others: -6 S Garcia (Spa); -5 T Olesen (Den); -4 D Willett (Eng)

English golfer Oliver Fisher has carded the first round of 59 in European Tour history at the Portugal Masters.

The 30-year-old made 10 birdies and an eagle for a 12-under second round in Vilamoura and just missed out on going even lower on the final hole.

"It feels great, I started great and I kept it going," said the world number 287 after his bogey-free effort.

He shares the lead with compatriot Eddie Pepperell and Australia's Lucas Herbert on 12 under.

Eighteen players have carded rounds of 60 on the European Tour, while Jim Furyk hit 58 on the PGA Tour in 2016. Annika Sorenstam shot a 59 in the LPGA's Standard Register Ping event in 2001.

Fisher, from Chingford in Essex, saw his long birdie putt at the 18th - to tie with American Furyk's mark - graze the hole.

"I'm just pleased I two-putted from 40 feet on the final green," he said.

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

He birdied the next three holes, and picked up further shots on the 15th and 17th for the lowest round in the 46 years of the European Tour.

Fisher started the day eight shots off the lead on level par, needing a strong round just to make the cut.

Herbert started the day as outright leader and shot a four-under 67 to pull level with Fisher before Pepperell hit a five-under 66 to make it a three-way tie heading into the weekend.

England's Matt Wallace is a shot further back on 11 under and Ireland's Shane Lowry is on nine under.

Spain's Sergio Garcia finished with three straight bogeys to drop back to six under, while Ryder Cup team-mate Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark is a shot behind.

Oliver Fisher's scorecard
The European Tour posted Fisher's record scorecard and temporarily changed its Twitter handle to reflect the feat

Fisher's record in numbers

32 - His best finish at a major championship was a tie for 32nd at the Open in 2013. He has not appeared in a major since 2014

60 - The previous lowest round on the European Tour has been achieved 18 times, most recently by Brandon Stone to win this year's Scottish Open. Former Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke is the only man to twice shoot 60 on the tour

161 - Fisher's best world ranking, in August 2008

+690,000 - Total number of rounds in the tour's history before a 59 was hit


BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

When he turned professional in 2006 Oliver Fisher was a contemporary of Rory McIlroy and like the Northern Irishman was regarded as having huge potential.

Aged 18, he was the fifth youngest player to come through European Tour qualifying school, but his professional career has not flourished in the way that was widely anticipated.

The Essex-based pro has won only once, at the 2011 Czech Open, and is currently ranked 287 in the world having missed the cut in three of his past four tournaments.

Now, though, he can celebrate breaking a record that has stood throughout the European Tour's 46-year history by becoming the first man to shoot in the fifties.


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