SAM HORSFIELD greeted the news that the European Tour is gearing up for a restart by shooting a sensational 59 – again!
The Florida-based Englishman bagged ten birdies and a couple of eagles in his latest sub-60 score, on his first visit to Orlando’s hottest new course, Streamsong.
It came almost exactly ten years after he posted his first 59 – when he was just 13!
Horsfield has graduated from child prodigy to become one of the game’s rising stars, and he will be flying back next month for the run of six UK-based events that will signal the end of the European Tour lockdown.
And he will be hoping to bring some of the sparkle he showed in his latest practice round.
Horsfield commented: “It’s funny, I was already buzzing at the thought of finally getting back to competitive golf when I went out to play with two close friends.
“And I joked that we were on 59 watch after I eagled the fourth hole – after starting with three birdies.
"I hit a great second shot from 280 yards, with a three wood, and it finished about an inch and a half away from being an albatross.
“Then I noticed the course was a par 73, and I thought 14 under might be pushing it. But the birdies kept coming, and I had another eagle on the tenth, so I was well up with the pace.
“And I knew it was on when I made a great par on 16. My tee shot finished up against the face of a fairway bunker and all I could do was chip out sideways.
"But I made a 25 footer for par, and our caddie said there’s an easy par five to finish for 59.
“I left a birdie putt right in the jaws on 17, and did the same thing at the last – only that was for eagle, and the tap-in birdie did the job.
"I suppose it could just as easily have been 58 or even 57, but I’ll take it.”
FIRST WIN AWAITS
Fellow Orlando resident Ian Poulter took Horsfield under his wing several years ago, describing him as the best young player he had ever seen.
They now share the same management team, and talk to each other every day.
Horsfield, 23, was tipped for great things after romping to an eight shot victory at the European Tour qualifying School to earn his card for 2018.
But he is still waiting for his first win, although a runner-up finish in South Africa last year showed it cannot be far away.
He added: “If I’m honest I feel like I’ve under-achieved slightly since turning pro.
"But I’m not going to put myself under any extra pressure. Winning at this level is tough, but I feel like time is on my side.
“I will probably have to quarantine in the UK for two weeks before the European Tour starts up again at Close House in late July, but that’s fine.
"I just hope I can bring some of the form I showed at Streamsong with me!”
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