To shoot 59 is the dream for any Tour star – indeed any professional golfer, writes Tony Rushmer.
And Andrew Pestell came very close to doing it at the Colchester Pro-Am where he signed for the East region’s lowest score in recent times.
While Ian Ellis and Mark Baker both fired respective rounds of ten-under-par 62 in 2011, Pestell produced 18 holes of brilliance in a nine-under 61 at Colchester.
Unsurprisingly the Chelmsford Golf Club professional won the event by a distance – four shots. He also broke the course record by three shots.
And, in mustering an eagle and seven birdies, he was so close to breaking 60.
Pestell, 40, said: “It was cool – I just didn’t miss a shot.
“I got to five-under through 9 and thought ‘alright, you could do something a little bit special, just stay with it.’
“In my head I wasn’t looking at the card. I was just trying to keep making more birdies.
“A little bit of nerves kicked in around 11, 12 but I was still hitting the shots even so.
“I birdied 12, 13, 14 and then missed an eight-foot putt on 16. That annoyed me but it switched me back on again for the last couple of holes.
“What I was trying to do was get to double figures, but I couldn’t remember if the par was 70 or 71.
“When I looked at the card afterwards, I thought, ‘Ahh, it’s par-70 – damn that was close.’ It was probably an opportunity to do the 59.
“But nine-under, bogey-free…it’s the lowest round I’ve ever shot. Before that, the lowest I’d previously shot was, I think, seven-under in a winter event at Felixstowe Ferry.”
Pestell is hoping that he can retain his stunning form as the East region season builds to a climax. He is due to defend his Ingrebourne Links title on August 6 and wants to bid for a top-three spot on the Order of Merit that would secure a PGA Play-Offs berth.
He added: “If the rest of the summer goes to plan, hopefully I can be in contention for a Play-Off spot.”
There must be something in the water at Chelmsford Golf Club at the moment – just three days after Pestell shot 61 at Colchester, fellow professional at the club Lloyd Kennedy fired a fantastic 62 in the Grove Pro-Am.
Kennedy made 10 birdies and an eagle on his way to a ten-under-par total. He stormed to victory by no less than TEN shots!
Kennedy said: “That’s my best score in competition. I’m not sure where it came from as I’ve been playing pretty average for a while…I’m very happy!”