(CNN) -- Ryder Cup star Miguel Angel Jimenez carded a stunning 10-under-par round of 61, the lowest of his 27-year European Tour career, to lead the European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland, by three strokes after 36 holes.
The 46-year-old Spaniard posted two eagles and six birdies for a halfway total of 128 (-14) on the beautiful Alpine course.
Italian Edoardo Molinari (65), the only other member of Colin Montgomerie's European Ryder Cup side playing in the event, and 17-year-old compatriot Matteo Manassero (67), lead the chasers.
"It was a beautiful day in the mountains," Jimenez told the official European Tour website. "I was thinking 59 a little bit and I tried, but it was still a great round. All the clubs were working properly and that's what you need."
Molinari was handed one of Montgomerie's three captain's picks for Celtic Manor after his superb win in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last Sunday.
Speaking after his second consecutive bogey-free round, the 29-year-old, who will join brother Francesco in facing the Americans next month, said: "I hit the ball great and it was a very controlled and solid round.
Finland's Mikko Ilonen is alone in fourth place on 10-under-par while Briton Graeme Storm is a further shot behind.