Matt Wallace did the impossible on Saturday at the DP World Tour Championship. Wallace made birdie on every hole on the back nine to come home in 27 strokes. He carded a third-round bogey-free 60 to take the lead by one shot at 16-under.
That tied both the nine-hole and overall round record in DP World Tour history, according to The Athletic’s golf statistician Justin Ray.
“What an amazing day. Tried my hardest to get myself back into the tournament. I’m happy that I’ve been able to do that. Played great,” Wallace said. “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 hit just 23 putts on the day and averaged 1.3 putts per green in regulation. Wallace had an opportunity to shoot a 59, but came up one shot short.
“Yeah, gutted now actually a little bit— 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,” Wallace said. “I had a couple of good lies for up-and-down, but it was fantastic and a good effort for 59.”
It’s rare for a player to make a birdie on every hole, but Wallace did it.
He made three bogeys on Thursday, but since then Wallace has put together two bogey-free rounds. That confidence going into the final round is immeasurable.
“I‘m playing solid. Played with Rory yesterday and I felt like my game was right there, and it’s obviously proved that today,” he said. “In the Czech Republic, I was playing to keep my heart. Played mostly on the PGA TOUR this year, so once I came second there, it boosted me. I wanted to make DP World. Now I’m here, and we have a chance to win tomorrow. That’s the full focus there.”
Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland trail Wallace by one shot heading into the final day of play.
Rory McIlroy has already clinched the Rolex Series title, so guys are playing for the Tour Championship win. Hovland has an opportunity to take home both the PGA Tour’s season-final tournament and the DP World Tour one, but he will have to hold off a red-hot Wallace.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.