Tom Lewis misses out on European Tour's first 59 at Made in Denmark
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 25/08/16 10:34pm
Tom Lewis spurned a glorious opportunity to create European Tour history on the opening day of the Made In Denmark at the Himmerland Resort.
Lewis looked on course to become the first player on Tour to break 60 when he rolled in a huge eagle putt at the fourth - his 13th - to move to 12 under par for the round.
The Englishman needed only to par his final five holes to post a landmark 59, but a bogey at the fifth took the wind out of his sails and he dropped further shots at eight and nine to return the third 62 of the day along with Ryder Cup hopeful Thomas Pieters and Swede Joakim Lagergren.
Lewis is struggling to regain his card having earned just over 40,000 euros in 10 starts this season which has left him languishing at 184th in the Race to Dubai, but he got off to a stunning start when he birdied his first four holes, parred the 14th and reeled off another three consecutive birdies to turn in 28.
The 25-year-old took his birdie streak to six in a row on the front nine, and the magical 59 appeared certain when his 40-foot putt for eagle found the centre of the cup at the fourth.
But a four-foot putt for par horse-shoed around the hole at the next and refused to drop, and he missed the green with his six-iron second to the long sixth before playing a poor pitch and failing to hole the 15-foot birdie chance from the fringe.
Lewis did well to save par at the seventh with a sublime bunker escape to two feet, but he pulled his drive into a dreadful lie in thick rough at the eighth, hacked into a greenside bunker and could not get up and down.
His frustration was clearly evident when he again missed the fairway at the ninth, and he signed off with his third bogey in five holes as he settled for a share of both the lead and the course record.
Lagergren was first into the clubhouse on nine under after a flawless nine-birdie opener, and he soon had company when Pieters enhanced his hopes of a Ryder Cup captain's pick with a brilliant 62 playing with the European skipper.
The big-hitting Belgian, runner-up in his defence of the Czech Masters title last week, also started at the 10th and birdied his first two holes before picking up eight shots in 11 holes from the 14th, blotting his card only once with a disappointing bogey at the short 16th.
The leading trio are one ahead of veteran Welshman Bradley Dredge, who recovered from an opening bogey at the 10th with a sparkling run of six birdies in seven holes from the 12th, and he made further gains at the third, fifth and sixth to sign for a 63.
Scott Jamieson holed his second to the par-four fourth for a rare albatross, and his card also featured three birdies in a flawless 65, while Robert Karlsson also had claims for shot of the day when his pitching wedge to the 16th spun back into the cup for a hole in one.
Martin Kaymer, one of the favourites for a Ryder Cup wild card, started and finished with a bogey but managed four birdies in a 69, while home star Soren Kjeldsen was five under for the round only to bogey the final two holes.