Fastest round on European Tour: Sebastian Soderberg sets record

Sebastian Soderberg
Sebastian Soderberg won his only European Tour event at the European Masters in Switzerland in September 2018

Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg recorded the fastest time for 18 holes on the European Tour as he got round in 96 minutes at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Teeing off first in the final round, he had a local marker and his caddie - his brother Jasper - for company.

Running between shots, Soderberg, 29, shot three over - a better score than 30 golfers who played at normal pace.

"I felt like it would be a fun thing to do and didn't necessarily think it would hurt my game too much," he said.

Soderberg, who teed off on the Emirates (Majlis) course at 7.10am, beat the previous best of 119 minutes by Belgium's Thomas Pieters.

"I just tried to play as fast as possible," said Soderberg, who beat Rory McIlroy in a play-off to win the European Masters last September in his sole European Tour win.

"The important thing was my brother on the bag. He had the big job because he ran non-stop pretty much.

"He was excited about it this morning and that helped. He said, 'let's do it'.

"We talked before it. Whenever it was a par three he would go up there [on the green] and wait. On par fours and fives, he would just leave the appropriate clubs."

The European Tour has introduced a new pace-of-play policy this year to speed up the game and combat a problem that turns off spectators.

Two bad times during a tournament can lead to a stroke penalty and as a result, three-ball rounds at the Abu Dhabi Championship last week - the first event under the new guidelines - were 10 minutes quicker than they had been in 2019.

Soderberg's efforts were praised on social media by fellow players.

At the business end of the tournament in Dubai, Lucas Herbert of Australia defeated South African Christiaan Beizuidenhout at the second extra hole to claim his first European Tour title after both players had finished tied at nine under.

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