Unheralded Englishman Oliver Fisher fired the first round of 59 in the European Tour’s 46-year history on a remarkable second day of the Portugal Masters on Friday.
The 30-year-old tapped in for par on the final hole to complete an astonishing 12-under-par round featuring 10 birdies and an eagle, after his long birdie putt for a 58 grazed the edge of the hole.
“It feels great, I started great and I kept it going,” Fisher said. “Just pleased I two-putted from 40 feet on the final green.”
— ?59 on the European Tour? (@EuropeanTour) September 21, 2018
Fisher, who was regarded as a possible future star as a teenage amateur, is ranked down at 287 in the world and had missed 11 cuts in his 22 previous events this season.
He also had to battle to save his tour card at the same tournament two years ago, but scaled heights that thousands of players had failed to reach before with his efforts on Friday.
“Two years ago I was on the same green just trying to keep my card, so I was keeping that in the back of my mind and trying to remember that it could be worse,” he added.
Fisher’s round gave him the clubhouse lead on 12-under for the tournament as he looks for only a second European Tour title, with the majority of players still on the course.
He started the day eight shots off the lead on even-par, needing a strong round just to make the cut.
But Fisher poured in five birdies and an eagle in a seven-under front nine of 28, before kicking off the second half with three consecutive birdies to raise hopes of history.
“Going out today I certainly didn’t expect to shoot such a low score, but after the start, coming onto the back nine it was in the back of my mind,” Fisher told Sky Sports.
“I said to my caddie on the 16th green ‘(let’s) just to try and enjoy it and get those two drives away’, and thankfully I managed to get that lucky number.”
Two other men had come close to the magical number at the Portugal Masters, with Scott Jamieson and Nicolas Colsaerts both missing putts to break 60 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
© Agence France-Presse (Additional edits by Marisa Kennedy)