Scott Jamieson is in a “great position” to claim Scottish golf’s second success in three days on South African soil after retaining a share of the lead heading into the final round of the Tshwane Open in Pretoria.
Twenty-four hours after Liam Johnston from Dumfries & County claimed the African Amateur Championship at Leopard Creek, the 33-year-old Glaswegian was denied outright pole position after seeing a 15-foot eagle attempt that had been set up by a majestic iron approach from 234 yards hang on the edge of the hole at the last.
However, a three-under-par 68 was good enough to enable Jamieson –who is bidding for his second European Tour title triumph in the Rainbow Nation – to stay on top of the leaderboard with Alexander Bjork after the Swede signed for the same score for a 13-under 200 total at Pretoria Country Club.
The pair sit a shot ahead of Spaniard Jorge Campillo and South African Dean Burmester after they both produced grandstand finishes to card matching 65s. Campillo finished birdie-birdie-eagle while Burmester picked up shots at the closing two holes in his six-under-par salvo.
“I’m in a great position to try and go out and win the tournament tomorrow,” said Jamieson, who won the weather-curtailed Nelson Mandela Championship in 2013 but has finished 106th and 107th in the Race to Dubai over the past two seasons. “Yet again I was really good tee to green and felt as though I left a few shots out there due to not being at my best on the greens.”
He seemed to roll the ball perfectly fine to hole good birdie putts at the third, 12th and 13th, but a golden chance from around three feet went begging at the 17th before leaving that eagle effort at the last agonisingly short. “I’m not sure if the [practice] putting greens are quicker than the ones on the course,” added the Scot, who has been edging back to his best form since getting in the mix in the British Masters at The Grove, Hertfordshire towards the end of last season.
“I’ve heard a few guys saying they are struggling to get the ball to the hole and that has certainly been the case for me. The way I like to putt is not think about pace. There’s enough to think about worrying about how hard to hit it. You like to react to what you see. I’ll see how tomorrow goes.
“Everything else has been great so far and hopefully it will be more of the same in the final round.”
Bjork, a Challenge Tour graduate, held a two-shot lead with six holes to play before finding himself in a four-way tie for top spot, though a birdie at the last ensured he’ll be out in the final group again with Jamieson for the second day running. Other potential threats to the leaders include Finn Mikko Korhonen, who sits just three behind, as well as Englishman Oliver Fisher, who stormed into contention after a flawless nine-under 62 to sit in a seven-strong group on 10-under. That also includes his compatriot James Morrison as well as South African trio Thomas Aiken, Peter Karmis and Zander Lombard and American Peter Uihlein.
Also in with a shout, though he’ll need to go low on the last day, is Marc Warren, who, after a 67, is lying joint-13th on eight-under, a shot ahead of both Richie Ramsay and Duncan Stewart after they each carded 69s. Having signed for the same score, David Drysdale, the fifth Scot to make the cut, is lying just outside the top 30 on four-under.