- Thomas Bjorn wins European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre
- Danish veteran beats Craig Lee at first hole of playoff
- Bjorn tops standings for European Ryder Cup qualification after two events
- Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez tied fifth
Thomas Bjorn denied Scotland's Craig Lee a fairytale first win on the European Tour by holing a 12-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff to win the European Masters in Switzerland Sunday.
The pair had finished tied on 20-under-par in regulation play at Crans-sur-Sierre with overnight leader Lee seeing his birdie putt on the 18th to seal that victory cruelly lip out.
Danish veteran Bjorn made no mistake when presented with his chance on the same green in the extra holes, claiming his 14th career win on the Tour and second at the same tournament in three years.
The 36-year-old Lee, who has spent much of his career battling to win his card or campaigning on the second-tier Challenge Tour, had led after a stunning 61 in the third round.
But he carded a 67 to the 65 of Bjorn, who made a strong start to the final round with five birdies in an outward half of 31.
Lee responded with three birdies of his own coming home, but ultimately Bjorn's experience paid off.
"It was nice to do that in a playoff. I've had a hard time dealing with pressure situations and there is no more pressure than that," he told the official European Tour website.
Consolation for Lee will be his move into the top 60 of the Race to Dubai rankings and the guarantee he will keep his card for next year.
"This result lifts a lot of weight off my shoulders," he said.
Bjorn has moved into the lead in the qualifying for next year's European Ryder Cup standings after two tournaments.
Victor Dubuisson of France carded a closing 66 to finish one back on 19 under, with Spain's Alejandro Canizares was a further shot back in fourth.
Popular Spanish veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez finished tied for fifth with England's Ross Fisher, five shots back.
He earned a tribute from winner Bjorn, himself a seasoned campaigner.
"You keep thinking when is going to be the next win but then you play alongside someone like Miguel (Angel Jimenez) and he seems like he's 60 odd and away you go and that gives you more confidence," he said.