Chris Curran is still pinching himself after becoming a member of golf’s ‘59 Club’.
The 20-year-old, who comes from Blackburn in West Lothian, earned the honour with a “special round” in the East Alliance Championship at Gullane.
It came on the No.3 Course, where Curran carded halves of 29 and 30 as he signed for a superb nine-under-par effort.
He birdied the second, third, fifth, eighth and ninth going out before making further gains at the 11th, 13th, 17th and 18th coming home.
“It was a special round,” admitted Curran, who is a PGA trainee under Stuart Callan at Bathgate after turning pro last November.
“I probably started thinking I had a chance of shooting 59 when I had a ten-foot putt at the tenth to go six-under.
“I missed that, as well as a two-footer at the 12th but, having played the course before, I knew there will still more chances to come.
“I holed a good putt at the 13th to get it going again before doing likewise at the final two holes, knocking in a six-footer at the last for my 59.”
Curran’s previous best score had been a 63 at Harburn and he added: “This is definitely my best achievement in golf so far.
“It’s not something you get the chance to think about too often and it feels good, especially as everybody seemed to be talking about it down at Gullane.”
The superb effort helped Curran claim the title – the winner receives the Uni Royal Trophy – after he added a one-under-par 70 on the tougher No.2 layout. He finished two shots ahead of another promising PGA pro at Bathgate, Louis Gaughan, with Jamie McLeary a further two shots back in third.
“It was a good day all round, with the 59 certainly helping,” admitted Curran, who is planning to play in assistants’ event on the Tartan Tour this season.
Craigielaw’s Scott Gillies had also been on course for a really low round as he raced to the turn in 27 on No.3, having made an eagle and five birdies.
It ended up as a tale of two halves for him, though, as the fireworks stopped on the back nine and he had to settle for a 64.
The Gavin Clark Trophy, for the best handicap score, was claimed by Longniddry’s Nathan Free as he denied Kieran Cantley adding a cherry to his superb season.
Liberton lad Cantley, winner of both the scratch and handicap order of merit titles, finished on 135 playing off plus one, but he had to settle for second spot, two shots behind one-handicapper Free.