Russell Claydon set two records and equalled two others when he shot an impressive 11-under-par 61 in the second round of the German Masters at the Motzener See club in Berlin yesterday.
The 29-year-old from Cambridge broke the course record of 63 set by the South African, Ernie Els, in this event last year. His 61, giving him a total of 127, also equalled the lowest round on the European Tour this year - Germany's Alexander Cejka shot 61 in the Austrian Open in August - and his 36 holes figure was the best of the year. He equalled the feat of the American, Freddie Couples, in the Scandinavian Masters four years ago and of Els in the Dubai Classic last year of having 12 birdies in his round.
It might have been even better. "When I hit my approach at the sixth to 20 feet I was thinking 'If I knock this one in I could break 60' because the eighth and ninth are birdie holes," he said. "Then I putted up six feet short and missed the next putt." Claydon, currently 65th in the European Order of Merit, said he had suffered a disappointing year but has played better since seeing his long-time coach, Eddie Birchenough, two weeks ago.
One shot ahead of Claydon is Sweden's Anders Forsbrand whose second successive 64 took him to 128.
In the race to be Europe's No 1, Bernhard Langer, who always appears to play well in his native Germany, is making up ground. Langer is nearly pounds 128,000 behind Sam Torrance with only this tournament and the Volvo Masters in Valderrama left to play but he has not given up hope of finishing top for the third time in his career.
He shot 66 for 133, still in contention for the first prize of pounds 108,330 with two rounds to go. Torrance could manage only a two-under-par 70 for 141.Reuse content