Fitzpatrick flirts with 59 at KLM Open


Matthew Fitzpatrick learned one of golf's maxims the hard way Friday at the KLM Open: never leave a putt for 59 short.

The Englishman blitzed the par-70 Kennemer Golf & Country Club in the Netherlands, playing his first 16 holes in 10 under. Needing one birdie across his final two holes to shoot golf's magic number, Fitzpatrick closed instead with a pair of pars for a 10-under 60 after his 25-foot birdie try on No. 9 came up two rolls short.

"I was thinking about the 59 after the front nine, to be honest," Fitzpatrick said. "I was already celebrating going out in 28 actually, so to give myself a shot at that magic number was great. Shame that putt at the end came up short, but I'll take 60 any day of the week."

The score was 11 shots better than his opener and left Fitzpatrick at 9 under, three shots behind Soren Kjeldsen.

While there have been six rounds of 59 on the PGA Tour, there has never been one on the European Tour. Fitzpatrick's score would not have been official even if his last birdie putt dropped, however, as players were utilizing preferred lies during the round.

Fitzpatrick, 21, turned pro last year after an accomplished amateur career. He is still in search of his first European Tour win after a runner-up finish at the Omega European Masters in July and a third-place showing at the Czech Masters two weeks ago.