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Pro golfer cards 93 at Russian Open but is way off worst ever European Tour round

Ilya Kurochkin’s Friday got off to a shaky start and never improved.

Ilya Kurochkin pictured before his first round of 85.
Ilya Kurochkin pictured before his first round of 85.
Image: Golfmir.ru

EXPECTATIONS ARE ALWAYS high for home golfers to succeed when an open championship takes place in their native country. Perhaps that weight was borne too heavily on the shoulders of 10 local golfers when The Russian Open came to Moscow this week.

Russia provided 10 participants in the 113-man field at Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club but all missed the cut after a series of unfortunate golfing events. Andrey Pavlov came closest to sticking around for the weekend but even his score of +6 was three shots shy of the cut-off point.

Collectively, the 10 Russians carded two-round scores of +206. The Russian to cover himself in the merest swab of glory was Ilya Kurochkin. The 30-year-old went around the Tseleevo course in 85 strokes on Thursday. Friday was a whole lot worse.

Kurochkin’s second round started like this: quadruple bogey, par, double bogey, bogey, bogey. There were five more bogeys, four extra doubles and four pars. He signed off for a 93 and a two-round total of +34. He missed the cut.

The Russian can console himself with the fact that his round of 93 is still eons better than the European Tour’s worst ever score.

Back in 1978, and playing with an injured wrist, Ryder Cup stalwart Mark James carded a second round of 111. The Englishman had been fined £50 by tour officials the previous year for withdrawing from a tournament with a knee injury. Eager to avoid a similar pocket-slap, James teed off and went straight into the history books.

Sam Torrance and Mark James 24/5/2001 Sam Torrance and Mark James (right) pictured in 2001. Source: Allsport/INPHO

America’s PGA Tour has never published a confirmed worst ever round but Mike Reasor’s third round of 123 at the 1974 Tallahassee Open would take some beating. According to golfing lore [and records], Reasor was level par for his first two rounds but had a horse-riding accident ahead of the third round.

He damaged his knee, ribs and separated his left shoulder but still teed off the following day. Playing one-armed [his right], Reasor used just five iron and putter. His third round score eventually ran up to +51 by the time his afternoon was done. He showed up again on the Sunday and shot 114. He told Associated Press at the time:

I think the fact that I made it around that course is commendable. I almost didn’t make it going up the hill on 16. I was woozy there. I’ve got all kinds of medications in me.”

County Meath golfer Damien McGrane, meanwhile, is six shots off the lead heading into the final day of The Russian Open. McGrane carded 69 to move up to -7. Peter Whiteford from Scotland and England’s David Horsey lead the way on -13.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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