Storm leads after hole-in-one
Graeme Storm leads the Omega European Masters after the third round – thanks in no small part to an ace at the par-three 11th.
The Englishman shot his second 64 of the week to take a one-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round at Crans-sur-Sierre in Switzerland, taking his total to 16 under par.
Prior to his hole-in-one heroics on the 11th, Storm had made four birdies and two bogeys.
His pinpoint iron to the 217-yard par-three 11th pitched just off the green before spinning right into the middle of the cup.
The stroke earned him a BMW sports car worth around £100,000.
“It’s funny because on the 10th, I missed a par putt from three feet so I was actually feeling a bit low when I got to the 11th tee. It shows you how quickly this game can turn around,” said Storm.
“To win a car is absolutely magnificent, especially as I had to sell mine because we couldn’t afford to have two cars anymore,” added the Englishman.
Three more birdies and a bogey in Storm’s final seven holes looked set to be good enough for a share of the lead with Brooks Koepka, but the American double-bogeyed the final hole to drop out of the top spot.
Storm’s countryman Tommy Fleetwood lies alone in second place on 15 under after a superb 63 – his best ever round on the European Tour.
Koepka’s late blemish moved him down to third on 14 under, a potential 64 turned into a 66. He is closely followed by countryman David Lipsky, who shot a 66 as well to lie on 13 under.
Lipsky was playing alongside Storm and Shane Lowry, and witnessed the former’s spectacular ace.
“It was great,” he said. “Shane hit a great shot and then I hit an even better shot and Graeme put it into the hole.
“It was a fun time. The crowd were very supportive and enthusiastic and I can’t ask for anything more.”
The course was certainly there for the taking on Saturday. Fleetwood’s 63 wasn’t even the round of the day. That belonged to Peter Lawrie and Marco Crespi, who each carded a 62 to lie nine under and 10 under respectively.
But for a bogey at 16, Lawrie could have had a 61.
“I was lucky yesterday to make the cut. I holed about a 15-footer at the last and made the cut on the mark,” said Lawrie.
“I came out this morning, tried to shoot a low number and all of a sudden holed a few putts from pretty close. The magic 59 was on with a couple of holes to play. Unfortunately I didn’t do that but 62 is a very good score.”
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.
Matt Fitzpatrick: A Blade with plenty of support who can really cut it
The Sheffield golfer landed his first major – and first professional win in America – at Brookline on Sunday.
Mixed emotions for Rory McIlroy after US Open disappointment
McIlroy finished joint fifth at Brookline.
Golfing world and beyond react to Matt Fitzpatrick’s US Open victory
The 27-year-old held off Will Zalatoris and world number one Scottie Scheffler to win by one stroke at Brookline.
‘I can retire a happy man’ – Matt Fitzpatrick wins first major title at US Open
Fitzpatrick carded a closing 68 at Brookline to finish six under par, a shot ahead of Will Zalatoris and Scottie Scheffler.