AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Former British Open champion Paul Lawrie flirted with the European Tour’s first 59 before eventually posting a nine-under-par 61 in the opening round of the Dutch Open in Zandvoort on Thursday.
The 46-year-old Scot reeled off seven birdies and an eagle before missing an eagle chance at the seventh, his 16th hole, and parring the last two holes as he ended the day in a tie for the lead with Australian Wade Ormsby.
“The 59 did cross my mind,” 1999 British Open champion Lawrie told reporters at the Kennemer Golf and Country Club.
“I had a long putt on the seventh after a lovely three-wood and had that popped in I would have only had to birdie one of the last two to make it.”
Ormsby ended his round in memorable fashion with six birdies in the last seven holes.
England’s Richard Bland was in third spot on 62, one stroke ahead of compatriots Robert Rock, David Horsey and James Morrison, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Estanislao Goya of Argentina.
Writing by Tony Jimenez,; Editing by Martyn Herman