SCOTT JAMIESON will head for Abu Dhabi today feeling upbeat despite being pipped for the biggest win of his career.
The 29-year-old was overhauled here by Louis Oosthuizen despite taking a five-shot lead into the final round of the Volvo Golf Champions.
A closing 66 from Oosthuizen gave him a one-shot victory over Jamieson, who came within two inches of forcing a play-off with his eagle chip at the last at Durban Country Club.
It meant Jamieson missed out on his bid to complete a Durban double after winning the Nelson Mandela Championship on an earlier visit to South Africa’s third largest city last month.
However, with earnings of just under £350,000 from the first three events having finished first, third and second in those, the Scot is leading the Race to Dubai.
He was also set to rise to around 70th spot in the latest world rankings so is closing in on a coveted spot in next month’s WGC Match Play in Arizona.
“Louis is a major champion so there is no shame in losing to him,” insisted Jamieson after signing off with a 72. “I gave it my all – it just wasn’t to be today.”
The former Scottish Boys’ Stroke-Play champion admitted the turning point had been his double-bogey 6 at the fifth.
With Oosthuizen picking up the third of his seven birdies almost simultaneously, it meant Jamieson’s lead was down to just two shots and, six holes later, he’d been overtaken by the 2010 Open champion.
“What happened on the fifth was a bit of a kick in the rocks – to put it politely,” admitted the Scot, who had to go back and play three off the tee after finding tree trouble on the left of the fairway.
“There was no way I could have played it,” he added. “It would have been very risky.”
Jamieson had holed putts for fun until then but the birdies dried up as Oosthuizen made his telling thrust. “After that it became harder to hole putts,” reflected the Glaswegian. “I had a ton of chances but I just couldn’t take any of them.
“It’s tough but more learning for me and hopefully I can use it to my advantage in the future. It’s another step in the right direction and in the Race to Dubai.”
Playing in the last group on the final day meant Jamieson had to put back his flight to the Middle East for this week’s Abu Dhabi Championship until today.
Already there are Aberdonian duo Paul Lawrie and Richie Ramsay after they made promising starts to their 2013 campaigns by finishing seventh and ninth respectively in Durban. Colin Montgomrie, the other Scot in the 33-strong field, tied for 29th.
Oosthuizen’s success, the sixth European Tour title of his career, lifts him to a career-high fourth in the world.
“It was a great week – a lot of things happened,” said the 30-year-old, who on Friday won a £32,000 excavator for his farm when he was part of the winning team as an amateur played in each of the groups.