Golf: Rain man Scott Jamieson feeds off ‘feelgood factor’

Scott Jamieson shot a 64 in Durban
Scott Jamieson shot a 64 in Durban
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SCOTT JAMIESON is feeding off the “feelgood factor” in Scottish golf as he bids to chalk up a Durban double this weekend.

The 29-year-old headed into today’s third round of the Volvo Golf Champions lying joint-second, one shot behind leader Louis Oosthuizen.

Jamieson shot an eight-under 64 in yesterday’s second round, as did 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen, to boost his hopes of recording a second win in five weeks in the South African city.

Last month, he chalked up his first European Tour success in the weather-hit Nelson Mandela Championship at Royal Durban.

In more rain yesterday, this time at Durban Country Club, Jamieson revelled once again, admitting he’s enjoying playing his part in Scottish golf’s welcome upturn in fortunes.

“There is a feelgood factor in Scottish golf at the moment and it definitely helps that we all play practice rounds together,” said the 29-year-old.

That has been led by Paul Lawrie, who won twice on the European Tour last year before Richie Ramsay and Jamieson emulated their compatriot, even though the latter’s came in the first event of the new season.

“If you see someone else having some success, it maybe makes you think that if he can do it then I can, too – there’s maybe a bit of that,” added Jamieson.

“What I do know is that we are all striving to get better and, in a bid to achieve that, we all work hard at home.”

Jamieson started the second round in joint-fourth, level with both Lawrie and Richie Ramsay, the trio sitting four shots behind overnight leader Thongchai Jaidee, but, on a day when the lead changed hand quite a few times on a course that had been softened by heavy overnight rain, Jamieson boosted his hopes of a second win here by recording a hat-trick of birdies on both nines.

Asked why the Durban rain seemed to bring out the best in him, the former Scottish Boys’ Stroke-Play champion said: “I’m not so sure, but rain for a couple more days might be a good thing for me.”

With that first Tour win under his belt, there’s no doubt the Scot is riding on the crest of a wave, as he’s showed by outscoring two Ryder Cup players – Padraig Harrington and Thomas Bjorn – when they were his playing partners in the first two rounds.

“I’m comfortable in this environment,” he added. “In terms of the quality of the field, this is certainly deeper than the one I managed to beat last month, but all you can do is play the golf course and definitely want to go higher after winning.

“I got off to a good start to my second round. I birdied three out of first four, and then just was very steady. I hit a lot of greens – inside 15 feet a lot of the time – and was able to take advantage of the majority of them.”

Oosthuizen was delighted to win an excavator for his farm at Mossel Bay in yesterday’s team competition that involved two pros joining forces with an amateur.

The 2010 Open champion holed from 30-feet at the last to secure that prize and also earn his one-shot advantage over both Jamieson and Jaidee.

Playing in the last group, Oosthuizen matched Jamieson’s 64, admitting afterwards that he expected the on-form Scot to be one of his main threats in the final round.

“He’s playing really well, you can see he’s consistent and, yeah, he’s going to be a big factor on the weekend,” said the Springbok star. “He also shot 64 today and if you’re hitting it well on this type of course, there’s loads of birdies out there.”