Players shoot 59 at Nelson Mandela Championship
Two players carded a 59 in the second round of the rain-affected Nelson Mandela Championship on Friday, although their scores won't count as a European Tour record because the field was allowed preferred lies on the soaked layout.
Jorge Campillo of Spain and Colin Nel of South Africa both reached golf's magic number on South Africa's east coast but their 59s came with asterisks because of the preferred lies and the fact that the Mount Edgecombe course was reduced by one stroke to a par 70. No one has ever carded a bona fide 59 on the European Tour.
Campillo's blistering round with two eagles and seven birdies gave him a share of the clubhouse lead on 11-under 129 with England's Matthew Baldwin (62). Nel had an eagle and nine birdies to move up to a share of 27th, with some players still out on the course.
"My caddie walked the course during the practice round and said we could shoot 59 out here," Campillo said. "It's a great day. I was nervous on the finish, but I managed to finish strong. I'm really happy because no matter what you still have to make the putts to shoot 59."
The 59s by Campillo and Nel were also recorded within seconds of each other as Campillo finished on the ninth and Nel straight after on the 18th. Nel had opened with a 7-over 77.
"I was a bit depressed after my first round," Nel said, "so on the first tee I said to my playing partners, 'Where's the first tee and what's the course record?' I needed to go deep to make the cut. The putter just got hot. I had 22 putts, 11 (on) each nine, and you dream of that."
The event was reduced to 54 holes earlier Friday after long weather delays. It was already brought forward a day so as not to fall on Sunday, the day of former South African President Mandela's funeral.
And before the start, heavy rain had waterlogged the fifth fairway, forcing organizers at the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event to shorten that hole to a par 3.
Another Englishman, Daniel Brooks, moved to 12 under before play was ended by bad light, but he had still to complete his second round on Saturday. Having led through two days as one of the players to complete his first round on Wednesday, Brooks pushed ahead again with a birdie on No. 1, his 10th.
Behind Campillo and Baldwin, two South Africans were a stroke behind on 10 under. Oliver Bekker and Branden Grace both shot second-round 66s to be in contention.