Jamieson leads by five at Volvo Golf Champions, can win two in a row

Scott Jamieson at the Volvo Golf Champions
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Scott Jamieson leads the elite Volvo Golf Champions after 54 holes despite being the last player to qualify his way into the 33-man field.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Saturday, January 12, 2013 | 12:39 p.m.

DURBAN, South Africa -- One year after last-man-in Branden Grace won the Volvo Golf Champions, Scotland's Scott Jamieson could well do exactly the same thing on Sunday at Durban Country Club.

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 third-round 68, is part of the winners-only 33-man field thanks to his victory last month at the Nelson Mandela Championship, which also was staged here in Durban.

The main threats to Jamieson in the race for the first prize of more than $450,000 are 2010 British 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 on Saturday.

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 Golf Championship, he would be looking at a place in next month's 64-man WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona, and being in the top 50 at the end of March would give him a debut in the Masters in Augusta, Ga. – the town where he went to college.

Not bad for someone who failed in his first three attempts to survive European Tour Q-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 6 at the long par-5 eighth, whereas Jamieson hit a brilliant second shot to five feet and made it for an eagle.

"That definitely got me kickstarted," Jamieson said of his 3-iron on the eighth to set up the eagle as Jaidee and Oosthuizen were taking bogeys there. "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."

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 $150,000 truck on the final green. That is the prize for a hole-in-one on the closing par 4 and his drive kicked off the bank of a bunker and was rolling toward 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 7 under.

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