Jamieson can follow Grace's lead

  • Last Updated: January 12 2013, 17:00 GMT

One year on from last-man-in Branden Grace winning the Volvo Golf Champions Scotland's Scott Jamieson could well do exactly the same thing at Durban Country Club tomorrow.

Scott Jamieson: Holds a five-shot lead in Durban
Scott Jamieson: Holds a five-shot lead in Durban

The 29-year-old from Glasgow will take a five-stroke lead into the final round of the European Tour's opening event of the year.

Jamieson, 15 under par after a 68, is part of the winners-only 33-man field thanks to his victory last month at the Nelson Mandela Championship - also staged in the South African city.

Grace left it even later to earn his spot 12 months ago, capturing the Joburg Open and then seven days later beating compatriots Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in a play-off at Fancourt.

The main threats to Jamieson in the race for the first prize of nearly £283,000 are 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Frenchman Julien Quesne.

They all stand 10 under, Quesne posting a 67, but Jaidee only a 73 and Oosthuizen a 74.

Jamieson came into the tournament as a member of the world's top 100 for the first time in his life - at 100th - but could end it with all manner of exciting possibilities opening up for him.

Never having played a world championship, he would be looking at a place in next month's 64-man Accenture Match Play in Arizona and being in the top 50 at the end of March would give him a dream debut in the US Masters at Augusta - the town where he went to college.

Not bad for someone who failed in his first three attempts to survive the European Tour qualifying school before coming through the Challenge Tour three years ago.

Oosthuizen held a one-shot overnight lead, but went to the turn in a worst-of-the-day 40 and needed three birdies in the next four holes to reignite his hopes.

Jaidee was the first to take advantage, going three clear after birdies at the second and third, but he also took six at the long eighth whereas Jamieson hit a brilliant second shot to five feet and made it for eagle.

That three-shot swing brought him level and he moved three in front by chipping in from 25 yards at the 11th, making a 12-footer on the next and then leaving himself a tap-in at the 339-yard 13th.

The gap became four when Jaidee missed a short putt on the 16th as heavy rain returned and he bogeyed the 273-yard last as well.

Jamieson dropped a shot on the 17th after missing the green, but chipped close at the last to pick up a further stroke.

Ireland's Shane Lowry almost won himself a £93,000 lorry on the final green. That is the prize for a hole-in-one on the par four and his drive kicked off the bank of a bunker and was rolling towards the hole, but in the wet conditions pulled up four feet short.

He eagled it for the second day running - the first came when he sank a bunker shot - and a 70 left him seven under.

Joint fifth one stroke better are his fellow countryman Padraig Harrington (67) and Italian Ryder Cup player Francesco Molinari (68), but Open champion Ernie Els is 10 adrift following a 71.

Jamieson said of his three-iron on the eighth to set up the eagle as Jaidee and Oosthuizen were taking sixes there: "That definitely got me kick-started.

"It was another great day. I didn't play as well as I did the first two days, especially tee-to-green, but managed to score well and that's the main thing."

As for his early professional struggles he added: "I was just in the abyss, so I guess slumming around in the lower leagues helps build your character.

"I was fortunate to keep playing when money was not necessarily being chucked at me."

Collated third-round scores and totals (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

201 Scott Jamieson 69 64 68

206 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 68 64 74, Julien Quesne (Fra) 72 67 67, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 65 68 73

208 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 70 70 68, Padraig Harrington 70 71 67

209 Shane Lowry 70 69 70, Paul Lawrie 69 70 70, Danny Willett 69 70 70

210 Matteo Manassero (Ita) 75 69 66

211 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 69 70 72, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 69 70 72, Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 72 71, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 73 67 71, Branden Grace (Rsa) 75 67 69, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 72 69 70

212 Paul Casey 74 69 69, Richie Ramsay 69 73 70, Retief Goosen (Rsa) 72 70 70, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 72 70 70, Michael Hoey 72 74 66

214 Robert Rock 70 74 70, Jamie Donaldson 69 72 73, Darren Clarke 75 68 71, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa) 75 70 69

217 Ricardo Santos (Por) 76 76 65

218 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa) 74 72 72, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 75 73 70

220 Colin Montgomerie 72 78 70, Marcel Siem (Ger) 74 74 72, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 76 71 73

221 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 75 72 74

223 Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 78 70 75

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