Friday, September 19, 2014

Golf is the most humbling of sports. Just ask Nurlan Makulbekov.

The 59-year-old amateur played in this week’s Kazakhstan Open, an event on the European Challenge Tour, a circuit that is a stepping stone to golf’s major leagues (Europe’s equivalent of the Web.com Tour). In Friday’s second round he carded a stunning 104.

Makulbekov’s day included an 11 on the 543-yard par-5 ninth hole, leading to a front nine score of 51. Seemingly unnerved, he added a pair of quadruple bogeys on his way to a 53 on the back nine, for a 32-over-par total.

European Tour
europeantour.com

Nurlan Makulbekov was +54 after two rounds at the Kazakhstan Open.His two round total of 198—he shot a comparatively respectable 94 in the first round—left him 67 strokes behind the leader and firmly at the bottom of the leaderboard. That is not unfamiliar territory for the determined Makulbekov, who is one of the few golfers in Kazakhstan. He played in the event two years ago and finished third-to-last at 29-over.

The native Kazakhstani won a spot in the field in an amateur event and was there to add “native interest,” according to the tournament website.

His horrific score puts him in good triple-digit company, however. Mark James, who went on to captain the European Ryder Cup team in 1999, shot 111 in the 1978 Italian Open.

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