WGC-HSBC Champions: Brandt Snedeker just misses European Tour record 59 round at Mission Hills
Brandt Snedeker came close to shooting a sub-60 round at a European Tour event, but misjudged his last putt
Last Updated: 03/11/12 11:49pm
A sublime round of golf saw Snedeker hit an eagle and ten birdies to stay on course to become the first player to break the 60 barrier in European Tour golf, and just the fifth in the PGA Tour which co-sanctions WGC events.
The American was within an inch of creating a small slice of golfing history during the third round when the 31-year-old stood over a 20-foot putt on the 18th green at Mission Hills.
Snedeker's putt slid agonisingly wide of the right side of the hole and he had to settle for a 12-under par 60.
"I was disappointed not to shoot 59," said Snedeker, who moved to 13-under for the event. "Because in a career you might only get a couple of chances to do it.
"When I made eagle at the 15th the idea of shooting 59 came to me but I knew I needed to make birdie at the last three holes.
"I rattled off a couple at 16 and 17 and then played a great shot from a fairway bunker to set up the chance at the last.
"I definitely had some nerves going, which is good. I just kept telling myself to give it a chance - you don't have that putt too often in your life so when you do, you've got to give it a good chance of going in.
"I'd love to have that putt again. I hit a great putt and it just stinks not doing it, but still it's a great round and I got back in the golf tournament."
Snedeker had begun his third round 15 shots behind the South African leader Louis Oosthuizen but walked off the green to sign for the 16th 60 in 40 years of European Tour golf and four off the pace.
Scoring has been good at Mission Hills, with Lee Westwood shooting 61 on Saturday, and Snedeker says conditions were good for scoring.
"The par-5s are all reachable," he added. "If you drive the ball well, you've got a lot of short irons in your hands. And the greens are rolling great so if you can get feeling good on the greens, you make a lot of putts."