JAMIE McLeary fears too many mistakes over the past two days have cost him a chance of a maiden European Tour victory in the Tshwane Open.
The 34-year-old Scot heads into the final round at Pretoria County Club sitting six shots off the lead, held by former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
McLeary maintained the top-10 spot he’s held since the opening round with a 69 for a three-under-par 207 total but felt he’d wasted some good work in the shape of six birdies.
“I’m kind of disappointed with last two days, to be honest,” said the Bonnyrigg-based player, who had missed the cut in three out of his first four starts since regaining his place in the top tier.
“I’m making more mistakes than I normally would in a round of golf, dropping 11 shots in two rounds as a result of that.
“It’s a difficult course, but I don’t feel like I’m playing anywhere near good enough. I’m hoping that the more I play the better it will get.”
McLeary is sitting joint-seventh, having dropped out of a tie for fifth when he dropped a shot at the 18th, a 503-yard par-4, for the third round running.
“My goal is to get into top five, so I can play Malaysia next week,” added the Scot, who finished 15th on the Challenge Tour money-list last season.
“I’m supposed to be playing in the Dimension Data Pro-Am (at Fancourt) next week, but I’d love to keep going on the main tour.
“Hopefully I can make less mistakes tomorrow with the same amount of birdies.”
Two off the lead at the start of the day, Schwartzel moved to the head of affairs with a 66 for a nine-under 201 total, leading by one from Zander Lombard after he stormed into contention with a best-of-the-week 63.
“He’s world class,” said McLeary of the man he’s attempting to catch tomorrow. “I’ve never seen anyone look better standing to the ball. He was born to play golf.”
David Law, the last man into the field, maintained his consistency as the Aberdonian followed a brace of 70s with a 71 to sit joint-25th on one-over.
“It’s been great to come at short notice and make the cut,” admitted two-time Scottish Amateur champion. “I’m enjoying the experience of playing on the European Tour.”
Andrew McArthur is tied for 34th on two-over after a 70 while Scott Henry’s 72 left him in a share of 53rd on four-over.