David Drysdale faces card sweat as Scott Jamieson shines in Dubai
David Drysdale faces an anxious wait to find out if he’s hung onto his full European Tour card as Scott Jamieson showed the difference it can make when that pressure has been lifted.
Having secured his playing privileges for the 2022 season within the past couple of weeks, Florida-based Jamieson is now hoping to extend the current campaign by another week.
Having followed an opening 69 on the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates with a bogey-free 65, he sits in a tie for 11th on 10-under at the halfway stage in the AVIV Dubai Championship.
Frenchman Antoine Rozner, the defending champion, could be a hard man to beat, having opened with rounds of 65-64 to lead by one on 15-under, but Jamieson is looking forward to giving it a go over the weekend.
“After Valderrama, I was pretty much safe as far as keeping my card,” said the 37-year-old, who came into the final regular event of the season sitting 113th - eight spots inside the provisional card cut-off - in the Race to Dubai. “Certainly after making the cut in Portugal, that was the case.
“I’m probably a lot more relaxed this week than I had been the last couple of months, which can only be a good thing, but you’ve still got to focus and get your mind in gear.”
Out in two-under after gains at the fifth and seventh, Jamieson transformed his second round with a burst of five birdies in six holes from the 11th.
“It’s probably as straightforward as we are ever going to get a golf course,” he said. “There’s not a lot of rough and there was virtually zero wind.”
The 2012 Nelson Mandela Championship winner needs a big finish and perhaps even a victory on Sunday to squeeze into next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship on the neighbouring Earth Course.
“If I have a chance to win on Sunday, I’ll be giving it my best shot as it would be nice to play one more week,” he said.
Grant Forrest joined Jamieson on 10-under by matching his 65 with an effort that contained nine birdies.
Bob MacIntyre carded a second successive 68 to sit on eight-under, with Stephen Gallacher, in his 600th start on the circuit, also making the cut on five-under along with David Law.
“I never feel my game is far away,” said MacIntye. “It’s just about the mental side of the game and when I came here on Sunday, it felt massive for comfort in terms of trying to get back to playing Bob MacIntyre golf.
“I’m really looking forward to next week as it’s right up my street for a golf course. But we’ve got a golf tournament to try and compete in this weekend and I’m a position where I can do that.”
The season is over, though, for Drysdale, Richie Ramsay, Connor Syme and Marc Warren after they all missed the cut, with Drysdale agonisingly falling one short on four-under as the event threw up the lowest cut of the season.
The 46-year-old, who has held a full card for 17 consecutive seasons, started the event sitting 121st in the standings, but he is now projected to drop one spot and it all depends on how Englishman Ashley Chesters fares over the weekend.
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