Colin Nel at the weekend became the first golfer in South Africa to break 60 for a third time in a round of golf when he shot a 13-under-par 59 at Port Shepstone Country Club on the KZN South Coast.
The 36-year-old Nel, from Maritzburg, made headlines during the 2013 co-sanctioned Nelson Mandela Championship at Mount Edgecombe when he and Spanish golfer Jorge Campillo both shot 59 in the second round, the first time it had been done on the European Tour.
However, the 59s were not recognised by either the European Tour or Sunshine Tour, as the course had been shortened from par 72 to 70 because of wet weather that week which reduced the event to 54 holes. It took until 2018 for the first official 59 on the European Tour, by Oliver Fisher in the Portugal Masters.
Two months after his 59 at Mount Edgecombe, in February 2014, Nel shot a 14-under 58 at his home club of Maritzburg GC. In August 2014 he achieved his maiden win on the Sunshine Tour, in the Wild Waves Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun.
At Port Shepstone on Saturday, June 27, Nel birdied the last two holes, a two at 17 and three at 18, to break 60. He had shot 28 on the front nine, with eight straight birdies from the second to ninth. He came home in 31 with further birdies at 12, 13 and 15.
There have been 14 recorded instances of scores under 60 in South Africa, either in social or tournament rounds on a full length course, and eight of them have come at six different KwaZulu-Natal courses.
LOWEST ROUNDS IN SOUTH AFRICA
57 (15-under) Louis Oosthuizen at Mossel Bay, 2002
57 (15-under) Daniel Green at Bosch Hoek, 2019
58 (14-under) Jaco van Zyl at State Mines, 2003
58 (14-under) Colin Nel at Maritzburg GC, 2014
59 (13-under) Eric Moore at Windsor Park (Randpark) in 1949
59 (13-under) John Bland at ERPM, 1970s
59 (13-under) Branden Grace at Knysna, 2015
59 (13-under) Shaun Norris at Silver Lakes, 2015
59 (13-under) Colin Nel at Port Shepstone, 2020
59 (12-under) Mark Truter at Victoria CC, 2003
59 (12-under) Daniel Greene at Victoria CC, 2008
59 (12-under) Matt Saulez at Gowrie Farm, 2018
59 (11-under) Colin Nel at The Woods at Mount Edgecombe, 2013
59 (11-under) Jorge Campillo at The Woods at Mount Edgecombe, 2013