English golfer Ross Fischer is on top of the leaderboard at the 3 Irish open in Killarney, though his happiness will be marred somewhat by the record breaking 59 card which he narrowly missed out on .

The Englishman was on course to chalk in a record breaking 59 after six successive birdies in a front nine 29, plus four more in a row from the 11th, Fisher needed a further two over the closing stretch which included a reachable par five.

However his hopes were scuppered when the 29-year-old missed from six feet at the 15th and could only manage par the 519-yard next and closed with two more pars for a 10-under-par 61.

Despite that near miss, though, Fischer remained on top of the leaderboard at 12 under.“It’s been a frustrating year,” the golfer told the press after the first round, “The Ryder Cup was one of the goals I set myself and I want to be on that team. I want Monty to be looking at me and if I still need a pick at the end then hopefully I will be one of the fortunate ones,” he said.

The chasing Irish pack lagged behind. Padraig Harrington is faring the best at seven under, while whizz-kid Rory McIlroy is also at that score.

Paul McGinely is at 6 under, while defending champion Shane Lowry has carded a three under par.

"I just tried to enjoy myself today because I thought it might be my last round as the defending champion," said Lowry after his round.

"There was definitely more pressure on me this week and I was putting pressure on myself. The difference between today and yesterday was I enjoyed the round, there were more laughs and jokes out on the course and that's the way I normally play."