Nitties equals world record with nine consecutive birdies


James Nitties’ run of nine consecutive birdies matched Mark Calcavecchia’s world record
ISPS Handa Vic Open first-round leaderboard
-10 N Flanagan (Aus); -8 J Anstiss (NZ), K Kitayama (US), H Leon (Chi), J Nitties (Aus), C Shinkwin (Eng), J Scrivener (Aus)
Selected others:-7 A Karlsson (Swe); -6 N Colsaerts (Bel), A Johnston (Eng), S Manley (Wal), M Hoey (NI), D Drysdale (Sco)

Australia’s James Nitties made a world record-equalling nine consecutive birdies in the ISPS Handa Vic Open – but doesn’t lead after the first round.

Nitties’ run from the 15th to the fifth – a new European Tour record – matched 1989 Open champion Mark Calcavecchia’s achievement in the 2009 Canadian Open.

“I’m pumped,” said 36-year-old Nitties, who trails leader Nick Flanagan by two.

“I don’t hold any other world records that I know of, so to be a part of one is pretty cool.”

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger made nine birdies in a row at the 2017 Maybank Championship but preferred lies were being used on that occasion, while England’s Bronte Law matched it en route to winning the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in December.

Despite the record, Nitties finished the first day alongside a clutch of players including England’s Callum Shinkwin on 64, two strokes behind his fellow Australian Flanagan.

In the women’s tournament that is being played alongside the men’s, England’s Felicity Johnson heads the leaderboard after shooting a first-round 65.

She is one shot clear of Canadian Anne-Catherine Tanguay and America’s Kim Kaufman.

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