Graeme Storm won a sports car worth in the region of £100,000 (€126,000) for a hole-in-one and moved into pole position to earn the £300,000 (€378,000) first prize in the Omega European Masters today.
Storm holed out with a six iron on the 11th at Crans-sur-Sierre on his way to a third round of 64 and one-shot lead over fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.
The 36-year-old from Hartlepool has won just £61,000 (€77,000) on the European Tour this season to lie a lowly 159th on the Race to Dubai, perhaps explaining the wild celebrations as he realised he had won the BMW i8 parked behind the tee.
“To win something like that is marvellous,” Storm told Sky Sports 4. “I have not got a car at the moment so it’s not a bad start is it? I can’t afford one at the moment, I have played that bad this year I’ve had to give it back.”
Storm won the French Open in 2007 but has missed the cut 14 times in 23 events this season, adding: “This feels great. It’s unbelievable.
“I did not expect to shoot a score like that today to be honest because I have been struggling all year, so to be in this position is marvellous.”
Fleetwood carded a superb 63 featuring eight birdies and one bogey to finish 15 under par, one shot ahead of American Brooks Koepka who had shared the lead with Storm until finding water on the last to run up a double bogey.
“I made a two on the 11th and said I deserved a car,” Fleetwood said jokingly, with Storm needing a somewhat lucky bounce off the back of a bunker to get to the tricky pin position.
“My game has been good the last few weeks. I’m generally finding it on the range but then it’s always important to take it out onto the golf course.
“My iron play today was really good, I don’t remember a shot I did not hit on my line and I got on a roll with the putter midway through the round so it was just a great day.”
Welshman Jamie Donaldson, looking for back-to-back wins after victory in the Czech Masters, held a two-shot lead after four birdies in his first six holes but ran up a triple bogey on the 12th and double bogey on the 14th.
Birdies on the 13th and 15th limited the damage but a third round of 69 left the Ryder Cup player three off the lead on 12 under par alongside halfway leader Richie Ramsay and England’s Tyrrell Hatton.
Ramsay, winner here in 2012, got off to a nightmare start with three bogeys in the first four holes but battled back to record a level-par 70, while Hatton had eagles on the first and ninth in his 65.
Earlier in the day, Ireland’s Peter Lawrie had threatened to record the first ever 59 on the European Tour before being forced to settle for a round of 62.
Lawrie carded nine birdies in his first 14 holes, meaning he needed to find two more in the last four holes to break the magical 60 barrier on the par-70 layout.
However, the 40-year-old Dubliner was unable to take advantage of the par-five 15th and then bogeyed the short 16th to see his chance of creating history disappear, although he did move up 51 places to joint 13th on nine under.
Lee Slattery then threatened the magic number when he played his first 10 holes in seven under, only to find water off the tee and then three-putt the 13th for a triple-bogey six on his way to a 65.