Hutsby just misses Q-school 59

Sam Hutsby held a three-shot lead after the first round of the European Tour’s final qualifying school.

England’s Sam Hutsby shot a stunning first round 10-under 60 to take a three-shot lead into Sunday’s second round of the six-round European Tour’s final qualifying school event at the PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain.

Hutsby had a chance to become the first player to shoot 59 in Tour history, but the eagle he needed at the 18th got away and he had to settle for his eighth birdie of the day.

Hutsby did get an eagle, but it was at the 564-yard par five seventh, where he holed his putt after finding the green with his second shot.

“I got off to a great start with three birdies in a row and after that I just seemed to have the ball on a bit of string,” said Hutsby, who won his card at the school in 2009 and failed to retain it by just one place on the money list in 2010.

“I gave myself five or six chances other than the ones I took, so a 59 was on the cards. But you can never have the perfect round of golf, so I’ll probably just about take a 60!

“I really enjoy playing here so even though it can be a stressful week, it’s good to come back. Though obviously I would’ve preferred to have played well enough to get my card without having to come here.”

Dutchman Tim Sluiter was Hutsby’s closest challenger after a 63, with American Patrick Reed a shot further back after a 64.