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Matthew Fitzpatrick came up just shy on Friday of shooting the first-ever, officially recognized 59 in European Tour history. Instead, the Englishman and former U.S. Amateur champion shot 10-under 60 in the second round of the KLM Open in the Netherlands.
Fitzpatrick went out in 4-under 32 at Kennemer Golf and Country Club, making his run toward history on the back nine with five consecutive birdies after a par at the 10th. A birdie at the par-3 17th gave Fitzpatrick a shot on the 18th, where he found the green with his second shot, leaving 25 feet for the 59-clinching birdie. The uphill putt came up a few inches short and off to the right, running out of speed to find the hole.
"I was just trying to get the 'read' right... in fact I was thinking so much about the line I forgot about the pace of it," Fitzpatrick said after the round. "It was a bit disappointing to leave it short. But it's been a great day and I can't have any complaints about a 60."
The 60 propelled Fitzpatrick some 95 places on the leaderboard, helping him overcome a 1-over 71 to open. The 21-year-old Fitzpatrick is part of a seven-way tie for fifth place and trails Soren Kjeldsen by three shots heading into Saturday's third round.
On the other end of the experience spectrum, 66-year-old Tom Watson made the cut, on the number at 3-under 137, in his first KLM Open appearance and trails the lead by nine shots heading into the weekend.