Scott Jamieson stays on course for 'game-changing' win in Abu Dhabi
Continuing to display commendable composure, Jamieson still has his nose out in front in the Abu Dhabi Championship at Yas Links, where a four-under 68 left him sitting on 11-under. One big final push and he could well pull off a wire-to-wire win in the $8 million Rolex Series event.
His sole victory to date on the circuit came in a weather-curtailed Nelson Mandela Championship at Royal Durban in 2012. Subsequent chances have come and gone, but now he’s set up his most exciting opportunity of the lot in his bid to add to that tally.
Shane Lowry, the 2019 Open champion, is lurking ominously, sitting just a shot behind alongside Belgian Thomas Pieters, with world No 7 Viktor Hovland and Ian Poulter also in the chasing pack.
However, Jamieson has earned his right to be out in front with a circuit to go and he’s hoping to finish off the job. “It would be massive, a game changer to win a tournament of this stature,” he said. “But there’s an awful long way to go.
“All I can do is play whatever shots are in front of me. Just try and stay, all those clichés, in the moment and just try and hit the best shot I can.”
Jamieson, who had shared the halfway lead with Englishman James Morrison, birdied the fourth, seventh and 11th in his penultimate round. He then dropped one behind both Lowry and Pieters after his sole bogey of the day at the 14th before finishing strongly with birdies at the 15th and 18th.
“After yesterday (when it had been windy), the whole course seemed a little more straightforward, but it still wasn't easy,” said Jamieson, who enjoyed his best season when finishing 26th in the Race to Dubai in 2017 but has finished outside the top 100 twice since then and sits 336th in the world rankings.
“The greens were considerably quicker and there was still a decent amount of breeze. But, when I was on the last green, I noticed no one had made birdie, so I was happy to knock in a six-footer.”
Lowry, who is bidding to repeat his 2019 victory in the event but at a new venue after its move this year from Abu Dhabi Golf Club, made his move with a bogey-free 67, which was matched by Pieters.
"I'm looking forward to tomorrow,” said Lowry. "It's nice to be where I am. Whoever I'm paired with tomorrow (he’s out with Jamieson and Pieters as it’s three-balls) it will be a good day. But there's one thing in my mind, to be standing here tomorrow with the trophy again.”
Pieters, who is bidding for his sixth success on the circuit, was also blemish-free. “After eight weeks off you don't really know where your game is at but obviously the confidence is still there,” he said.
Richie Ramsay (68) is next best among the Scots on one-under, followed by David Law (72 for level-par), Ewen Ferguson (73 for two-over) and Connor Syme (74 for five-over).
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