David Law has leader Sean Crocker in sights heading into last day in Hero Open

American Sean Crocker chipped in for an eagle at the last to keep his nose in front in the Hero Open but David Law is in with a shout of landing a second successive Scottish success at Fairmont St Andrews.

Sean Crocker walks with his caddie during the third round of the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
Sean Crocker walks with his caddie during the third round of the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.

Crocker, who had opened with scores of 63 and 66 in benign conditions on the Fife coast to lead by one at the halfway stage, added a 69 in a tougher test to hold a two-shot advantage over Swede Jens Dantorp heading into the final circuit.

Law, who finished in a tie for third behind compatriot Grant Forrest 12 months ago, sits a shot further back along with Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, who won the AXA Scottish Championship over the Torrance Course in 2020, in the battle for a £250,000 top prize.

Crocker, who has Scot Steve Pettit on his bag, started the 2022 campaign with a miserable run of nine straight cuts before turning the tide by finishing seventh in the Soudal Open in Belgium in May.

David Law plays his second shot on the first hole during the third round of the Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.

The 25-year-old recently added a top-15 finish in the Barracuda Championship, one of the two events on that PGA Tour schedule that were co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour, and now he’s set up a chance to land a maiden win on the main tour.

“That was a nice little bonus on 18,” he admitted of his chip in from just off the back edge. “I was trying to get it up and down for a birdie but to see that ball drop was pretty cool.”

He’d earlier made three birdies in a row from the fifth before giving a shot back at the short eighth then following a birdie at the 12th with a double-bogey 6 at the next hole.”

“It’s nice to have a bit of room,” he said of holding the lead, “but I also know those gaps can be closed very quickly. Just got to play my own game tomorrow and see what we can do.”

Crocker, who was born in Zimbabwe but went to college in California and now lives in Florida, graduated from the Challenge Tour at the end of the 2018 season along with Law, Forrest and also Bob MacIntyre.

“It would probably be the most special day of my life (to win this week),” he admitted. “I play golf for the love of it, for trophies and all that stuff. It’s been a long time since I’ve held something shiny, so it would be a nice little present.”

Dantrop, who is also chasing a breakthrough win, stepped up his challenge with a bogey-free 69, one less than both Law and Otaegui.

“It was solid,” said Law of his day’s work. “It wasn't easy today with the wind being stronger and from a slightly different direction which makes the golf curse a lot tougher. If we’d had this wind direction for the first two days you would have seen a big difference in the scoring.

“So it was probably a good day to separate the field a little bit because it was really bunched. But, at the same time, you can still score because the greens are good and the fairways are generous.”

The 31-year-old, who made the cut in the 150th Open at St Andrews on his major debut a fortnight ago, signed for five birdies, including one at the last.

“It was a positive way to finish and I think two-under was deserved,” he added. It would be wonderful to win here. The home of golf is a special place. Lucky enough, I was here two weeks ago and to spend two weeks here is really special.”

Daniel Young carded a 67 to sit just outside the top 10 on 12-under, one ahead of Scott Jamieson (75) and two better than Ewen Ferguson (72). Defending champion Forrest (69) and Connor Syme (73) are on nine and under-respectively.