Bob MacIntyre produced a blistering burst in the third round of the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa to give himself a chance to regain the upper hand in the battle for European Tour Rookie of the Year.
The 23-year-old from Oban reeled off eight birdies in his last 14 holes at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City as he carded a best-of-the-day seven-under-par 65 in the $7.5 million Rolex Series event.
The brilliant effort catapulted MacIntyre into a tie for 21st on two-under, one shot ahead of American Kurt Kitayama, the left-hander’s main rival in his bid to become the first Scot since Marc Warren in 2006 to be crowned Rookie of the Year.
Heading into the final round, which sees South African Zander Lombard lead by a shot from compatriot Louis Oosthuizen and Belgian Thomas Detry on 11-under, in the penultimate event of the season, MacIntyre sits 12th, one spot behind Kitayama, in the projected Race to Dubai rankings.
Meanwhile, Daniel Young, who lost to MacIntyre in the final of the 2015 Scottish Amateur Championship at Muirfield, has made a promising start in his bid to join him on the European Tour next season. After the opening two rounds in the Qualifying School at Lumine in Spain, the Kingsbarns Pro Academy player sits joint-13th on five-under, having jumped 20 spots on the back of a three-under 69 on the Hills Course.
Rookie pro Euan Walker, who held the outright lead early on in the second circuit after reeling off four straight birdies but had to settle for a one-over 73, is next best among the Scottish hopefuls on three-under just ahead of Liam Johnston.