Ross Fisher let a big one off the hook when he missed out on the European Tour’s first 59.
The man they call “Fish”, 29, scorched to 10 under for the day with four to play before he pulled an eight foot birdie chance on the 15th and could “only” par the last three for a 10 under 61.
But he has bigger fish to fry in terms of the Ryder Cup and knows that a top-three finish in the Kingdom would see him move inside the nine automatic qualifying places.
An impressive 12 under par after the lowest round of his career, Fisher said: “All I wanted to do was give myself chances coming in the last four holes,
“I gave myself four good looks at birdie. Unfortunately I didn’t make them so have to be satisfied with 61.”
Big hitting Fisher reeled off six birdies on the spin from the third to turn in an incredible 29 blows before picking up another four birdies in a row from the 11th.
He started thinking about making the exclusive 59 club as he prepared to make his 10th birdie of the day at the 14th.
Yet while he holed that one, his record bid stalled down the stretch as he pulled his eight foot chance at the 15th, failed to birdie the reachable, par-five 16th and then left a birdie chance in the jaws at the next.
He said: “It was pretty flawless golf to be fair. I got off to a steady start with a couple pars on the first two and then the putter caught fire.
“I had a nice little run and it was obviously a shame that it came to an end on nine. But I just kept on hitting good shots and got on to a little patch on the back as well.
“It’s quite an exclusive club to be a member of. There’s not many that have done it, and I think for me, I was standing on 14 green and it did sort of enter my mind there.”
Winning the tournament is now top of Fisher’s agenda after a disappointing start to the season.
He sacked his caddie of five years last week and hooked up new bagman Phil “Wobbly” Morbey on Wednesday in the hope that they can become a Ryder Cup partnership.
He said: “I’m one of those guys that just missed out on the Ryder Cup in 2008 and it’s something that I don’t want to miss out on this year.
“Obviously my matchplay experience is pretty good. I did well in the Accenture Match Play in America last year and obviously winning the Volvo Match Play last year was a great achievement.
“I really want to try and play my way on to the team but if for some reason I don’t quite make it and I’m playing well, Monty has three picks and I’m hoping that he will consider me.
“Ireland is the start of three big weeks with the Bridgestone and the US PGA coming up. So I just need to go out and play how I know I can play, hopefully have three decent weeks and fingers crossed.”