Golf du Palais Royal, venue for this week’s Trophee Hassan II on the European Tour, was likened to a James Bond setting by defending champion Michael Hoey.
Jakob Svoboda, the current World No.1522, took note. Only it was more Oddjob than 007.
The 20-year-old Czech player, who qualified for the event through Category 5 – National/Regional Order of Merit, racked up four sevens, as well as two nines before retiring all out for 21-over through six.
Svoboda carded a double, quadruple, quintuple, treble, double and quintuple bogey, as you can see from his scorecard below.
Had Svoboda gone on to finish his round, he may well have beaten Mark James’ unwanted European Tour record for holding the worst score of 111 at the 1978 Italian Open.
He was also on track to break Maurice Flitcroft’s round of 49-over at Formby Golf Club in 1976, which still stands as the highest ever score in Open history.
Flitcroft, at the time employed as a crane driver, thought he would get involved with the Open after watching a bit of the game on TV. Only he did not quite realise the standard required.
To enter as an amateur, he would have to submit a certificate showing he had a handicap of one or less. Luckily for him, professional golfers didn’t have to submit anything, nor did they have to be attached to a club.
Soon, confirmation arrived by post that Maurice G Flitcroft, 45-year-old professional golfer (unattached), had been chosen to play at Formby Golf Club, near Liverpool, in one of the five qualifying tournaments for the 1976 Open.
Four months later, arriving with minutes to spare and changing from wellies to his tattered golf shoes in the car park, Flitcroft scampered to the first tee just in time to hear his name being announced.
Four hours later, staggering off the 18th green with a score of 121, he realised in order to qualify for the Open, he’d have to compensate for his abysmal round by shooting 13 holes-in-one the next day. It was time to go home.
Perhaps that was going through Svoboda’s mind as he skyfalled to 21-over for 6.
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