Ross Fisher’s dazzling performance Sunday at the Home of Golf elicited plenty of cheers, but it also drew a pointed lament from a certain nine-time major champ.
Fisher blistered the Old Course at St. Andrews during the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, shooting an 11-under 61 that broke the existing course record. The Englishman went out in 29 and added four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15 to give himself a chance to shoot a 59 on the oldest course in the world, but he signed for 61 after a three-putt from the Valley of Sin on No. 18.
Fisher wasn’t the only player going low, as Victor Dubuisson also briefly flirted with a new course record before a late bogey dropped him back to a 63. Fisher finished alone in second place, three shots behind Tyrrell Hatton who shot 24 under for the week across St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
In the wake of Fisher’s record-setting round, Gary Player penned a tweet questioning the impact of technological advances on a course that has hosted The Open 29 times since 1873:
Whilst delighted for all the players, it’s quite sad to see The Old Course of St Andrews brought to her knees by today’s ball & equipment.
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) October 8, 2017
Curtis Strange was the first pro to shoot 62 on the Old Course during the 1987 Dunhill Links, and Brian Davis tied that mark a few years later. But the St. Andrews Links Trust threw those records out when the course was lengthened in advance of the 2010 Open.
Those changes did little to slow down scoring, as Rory McIlroy shot a 63 in major championship conditions that summer and six players carded rounds of 62 during the Dunhill Links from 2012-16, including Hatton last year en route to victory.