x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Appleby becomes fifth man to score below 60

A sparkling round of 59 with nine birdies and an eagle carried him to a one-shot victory at the Greenbriers Classic.

Stuart Appleby revealed that a pictorial representation of his name printed on his ball was the lucky charm behind the sparkling round of 59 that carried him to a one-shot victory at the Greenbriers Classic. The Australian was only the fifth man to score below 60 in PGA Tour history. And his record round was just enough to make him a winner at White Sulpur Springs, Virginia. He made nine birdies and an eagle at the par-five 12th hole as he surged from seven shots off Jeff Overton's overnight lead to seal a single-stroke triumph on Sunday.

In the process, Appleby joined Al Geiberger, Chip Beck, David Duval and Paul Goydos in breaking 60 during a round on the tour. "I've got a little 'apple, bee' on my ball," he said. "I've won with those balls before, it's my little good luck thing and it worked." A birdie at the second started his run, but it was a run of four birdies from the fourth hole which raised hopes that something special was in the offing.

That saw him out in 28, and the eagle at 12 brought him into contention for the top spot. He capitalised by closing with three birdies, holing an 11ft left-to-right putt on the final green to secure a 22-under-par total and his place in history. It was the second time the feat had been achieved in just more than three weeks, following Goydos's exploits in the first round of the John Deere Classic, and came after DA Points and JB Holmes threatened the mark the day before.

"I watched Paul Goydos at the John Deere and he holed everything," Appleby said. "DA Points holed everything the day before and it's nice to be on the receiving end of that. I felt comfortable, I liked my reads and I liked how the ball rolled. Players have been shooting pretty low. I did most of mine in one round. "It's nice to get on that horse; you've got to ride that feeling for as long as you can."

Overton three-putted the par-five 17th after reaching the green in two and was then only narrowly off target with a 54ft putt at the last to come up one stroke short. Overton has finished second three times this season, adding two third-placed finishes in a string of near-misses. * PA