Storm leads after hole-in-one

European Tour

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.”

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