With nine-birdie 27 on his back nine, tour pro makes history. (Sort of)
Viktor Hovland? He didn’t believe it at first. He then labeled it ridiculous.
Dan Bradbury? He was complimentary. He then was colorful.
“Making my 32 look s**t,” he wrote on Instagram.
Unbelievable. Ridiculous. Praise-worthy. Obscenity-deserving. Pick your adjective here. They all work to what went down Saturday on the Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth Course. Matt Wallace was something else during the DP World Tour Championship’s third round.
With a small catch. But we’ll get to that in a sec.
Why all the attention? Here’s what Wallace did, starting with the 437-yard, par-4 10th:
— Birdie, after a 29-foot putt.
— Birdie, after an 18-foot putt on the 401-yard, par-4 11th.
— Birdie, after hitting his second shot to 6 feet on the 476-yard, par-4 12th.
— Birdie, after hitting his tee shot to 3 feet on the 187-yard, par-3 13th.
— Birdie, after getting home in two on the 626-yard, par-5 14th.
— Birdie, after hitting his second shot to a foot on the 371-yard, par-4 15th.
— Birdie, after hitting his second shot to a foot on the 486-yard, par-4 16th.
— Birdie, after hitting his tee shot to 5 feet on the 175-yard, par-3 17th.
— Birdie, after hitting his third shot, from a greenside bunker, to a foot on the 535-yard, par-5 18th.
Nine holes. Nine birdies. A back-nine 27 for Wallace. And with his three-under 33 on the front nine, the 33-year-old Englishman shot a 12-under 60, and he leads the DP World Tour’s final event of the year by a shot over Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood entering the final round on Sunday.
“What a day, an amazing day,” Wallace said. “Just tried my hardest to get myself back into the tournament. I’m really happy that I’ve been able to do that. Played great.
“Again at the end, I didn’t even think there was a 59. Honestly I think it helped me a little bit. I just played nicely coming down the stretch, just keep getting one more if I could and I managed to do that.”
He really didn’t think about the 59, which has been shot only once on the DP World Tour?
“Yeah, kind of gutted now actually a little bit,” Wallace said. “Great opportunity to do it. I’ve done it at Moorpark on the West Course which is only a par 68, but to do it out there would have been really special today.”
Still, his day puts him in the record books.
With that small catch.
The nine birdies in a row tie a DP World Tour record, according to the tour. The 12 birdies tie a record. The nine-hole score of 27 ties a record. The nine-hole score of nine-under ties a record. But there’s an asterisk.
They were playing the round with lift, clean and place in effect.
Still, no one else was within four shots of Wallace on Saturday. He’s now in line for one of the biggest wins of his career, too.
“Yeah, no bogeys in two rounds, which is nice,” Wallace said. “I’m playing solid. Played with Rory yesterday and I felt like my game was right there, and it’s obviously proved that today.
“And now I’m here. In the Czech Republic, I was playing to keep my card, and played mostly on the PGA Tour this year, so once I came second there, it kind of boosted me and then I wanted to make DP World and now I’m here and we got a chance to win tomorrow. That’s the full focus there.”