Durban – Jaco van Zyl shot a 57, the unofficial lowest ever score on the Sunshine Tour and on the European Tour, at the Nelson Mandela Championship at Royal Durban Golf Club on Sunday.
Van Zyl carded his eight-under-par score in the second – and final, as it turned out – of the tournament on a layout dramatically changed by heavy rainfall over the past three months.
The course was reduced from its initial par 70 of 6,194 metres (6,773 yards) to a par 65 of 5,594 metres (5,133 yards).
“I’m not really looking at this as a record,” said Van Zyl, a 10-time winner on the Sunshine Tour.
“This week was very different to any other – there were nine par threes. I think if the tournament went to more rounds the ‘record’ wouldn’t have stood too long, because the guys are getting the hang of the course now.”
The tournament was reduced to 36 holes because the course was unplayable for the opening two days of the event.
Van Zyl had nines of 28 and 29 after he started his second round on the 10th, and he finished his tournament at five-under-par after a poor opening round of three-over-par 68.
“To get it to eight-under-par, playing nine par-threes and with only one par-five, you’ve got to hit quality shots and make a couple of putts,” he said.
He picked up birdies on 11, 13 and 15 – the latter two par-threes – to turn in 28 on the shorter nine, and then made five more on his way in, with only one of those coming on a par-three.
“I was trying to get as many as I could,” he said.
The ‘record’ was equalled within 20 minutes, too, as Scott Jamieson also carded a 57, with an eye-popping 26 on his opening nine.
“I don’t know if it’s official, because of the par 65 and all, but it’s nice to have your name in the book,” he said.
“It would be nice to do this next week!” he said, looking ahead to the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek. – Sapa