Lee falls short on magic mountain but shoots course record at Omega European Masters

Shooting 59 in a tournament remains a magical and elusive goal for golfers on the European Tour. But for more than two hours in the Swiss mountains yesterday, Scottish journeyman Craig Lee had a following of around 2,000 fans living in hope of witnessing history.

The 36-year-old former club shop pro from Stirling, ranked 348th in the world, raised their hopes with a staggering first 10 holes in the second round of the Omega European Masters.

Birdie song: Craig Lee hit six in a row

Birdie song: Craig Lee hit six in a row

He made nine birdies and could have had a full house of 10 had he sunk a putt from about 25ft on the seventh.

But nerves began to show and he needed a great par save on the 11th green and then hit a wild drive at the next.

Lee responded with birdies at the next two holes but the task of making two more over the tough closing four holes at Crans Sur Sierre proved beyond him.

Flag daze: Lee lines up a putt on the 15th green

Flag daze: Lee lines up a putt on the 15th green

However, by shooting a 10-under 61, Lee broke the course record; with his opening six straight birdies he equalled the European Tour record and by covering his first nine holes in 28 shots he was only one stroke off the record books again.

Lee who was playing with a hip injury, said: 'Early in the day I said to my caddie that it would be nice to lower my best score of six under by one shot but I never thought I would go four better.

'And walking up the 15th fairway, I suddenly thought, "another couple of birdies and I could shoot 59", but my second shot there put an end to it.'

Now, 16 under for the week, Lee will go into today's final round with a two-shot lead over Thomas Bjorn, Alejandro Canizares and Victor Dubuisson.