Brandt Snedeker was just inches away from shooting a round that only few golfers have achieved -- a magical 59 -- at the HSBC Champions on Saturday.
Snedeker made 10 birdies and an eagle to get to 12 under after 17 holes, putting himself in position to shoot a 59 with a birdie on the 18th hole.
His approach shot from the bunker dropped onto the green about 15 feet from the pin, but the American's putt just skirted by the hole. He swung his club into the air in frustration after missing the shot and then smiling, tipped his visor to the crowd.
''I definitely had some nerves going, which is good,'' he said. ''I just kept telling myself to give it a chance-you don't have that putt too often in your life so when you do, you've got to give it a good chance of going in.''
''I hit a great putt and it just stinks not doing it, but still it's a great round and I got back in the golf tournament.''
Starting the day in a tie for 38th place, the American was the first golfer off the first tee in the third round Saturday morning. His round of 60 vaulted him up the leaderboard, within striking distance of the leaders Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els and Lee Westwood.
Snedeker isn't the only golfer taking advantage of the five par-5 holes on the Olazabal course at Mission Hills and the dry, sunny conditions to score in the low 60s.
Ernie Els shot only the second nine-hole score of 29 in his career on Friday and finished with a 63, matching overnight leader Oosthuizen.
''The par-5s are all reachable,'' Snedeker said. ''If you drive the ball well, you've got a lot of short irons in your hands. And the greens are rolling great so if you can get feeling good on the greens, you make a lot of putts.''