Blaauw cards 71 behind brilliant 58 on Challenge Tour

While up ahead of him, the first 58 on a par-72 course was being compiled, Jacques Blaauw battled his way to a one-under-par 71 on Friday to slip into a share of 23rd after the second round of the Challenge Tour’s Swiss Challenge at Golf Saint Apollinaire in Michelbach-Le-Haut, France.

Blaauw was solid enough on the front nine, with three birdies and two bogeys seeing him turn in one-under, and then he made three birdies on 11, 12 and 14 and that would have kept him safely inside the top 10 going into the weekend. But three consecutive bogeys over the closing three holes stymied his efforts and left him at eight-under, six off the lead.

The big story wasn’t that Germany’s Marcel Schneider maintained his grip on the lead with his three -under 69 giving him a one-stroke edge over Lucas Nemcz of Austria and Finland’s Lauri Ruuska, but rather that Spain’s Alejandro De Rey eagled his last hole of the day to sign for a staggering 14-under-par 58.

Del Rey joins an exclusive club of golfers who have carded rounds of 58 on major tours adding his name to the list alongside Jim Furyk (PGA Tour, 2016), Stephan Jäger (Korn Ferry Tour, 2016), Ryo Ishikawa (Japan Golf Tour, 2010) and Kim Seong-hyeon (Japan Golf Tour, 2021) – all of their rounds were 12-under-par on par-70 golf courses.

In the European Challenge Tour’s 32-year history just two rounds of 59 had been carded, with Adrien Mörk and Nicolò Ravano reaching the magic number in 2006 and 2016 respectively, while on the European Tour, a score of 59 has been achieved just once – by Oliver Fisher in 2018 at the Portugal Masters.

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