European Tour

Scott Jamieson keeps nose ahead in Abu Dhabi

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Scott Jamieson (Gallo Images)
Scott Jamieson (Gallo Images)
Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images

Scott Jamieson managed to hold on to a slender one-shot lead going into the final day of the Abu Dhabi Championship with a closing birdie on Saturday.

Having started with a course record nine-under-par 63 in calm conditions on the opening day at Yas Links Golf Club, the Scotsman added a four-under par 68 in the third round, taking his overall score to 11-under par.

Ireland's Shane Lowry, winner of the tournament in 2019, and Belgium's Thomas Pieters, runner-up in 2016, both shot bogey-free five-under par 67s to move into a tie for second place on 10-under.

India's Shubhankar Sharma matched the low round of the day - a 67 that included an eagle three on the seventh hole straight after a double-bogey on the sixth - and climbed up to tied fourth alongside world number seven Viktor Hovland.

Jamieson, ranked 336th in the world, is looking for his second win on the Tour and first since a rain-affected Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban in 2012.

Having moved to the US, the 38-year-old experienced a shift in his form late last year, and put together some strong performance to save his card on the DP World Tour, formerly called the European Tour.

In Abu Dhabi, he has been a picture of consistency. Even when the tournament was played at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, he had top-20 finishes in his last three starts.

Saturday's round may not have been as tough as Friday's second round when the course was pummelled by consistent wind of 28-32 miles per hour, but it was still windy throughout the day.

Win would be 'game-changer'

Asked what was the final ingredient needed to get his second Tour win, Jamieson said: "If I knew, I maybe would have won by now. All I can do is play whatever shot is in front of me, and going to just try and stay, all those cliches, stay in the moment and just try and hit the best shot I can.

"A win tomorrow would be massive, a game-changer to win a tournament of this stature. There have been some great champions here, but that's an awful long way to go."

Lowry misjudged the direction of his second shot on the par-five 18th and almost went into the water. He did manage to get away with a par.

"I thought I hit a perfect shot and couldn't believe it came down where it did," said the former Open champion.

"It was a bad mistake to make because we shouldn't be doing it in that situation. I got very lucky and fortunate."

Pieters, who won his fifth DP World Tour title towards the end of last year at the Portugal Masters, drove the ball well all day and made some solid putts.

"It was pretty stress-free. I think I missed one or two greens just like the first day. Putting well. I rolled it well nicely today. Just found a couple long ones at the end," said Pieters.

Earlier in the day, the cut fell at three-over par when the second round concluded. That saw world number two Collin Morikawa and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy squeeze through.

Morikawa improved only slightly to tied 54th with a 71, but McIlroy (67) matched the low round of the day to jump to tied 28th at two-under.

Leading scores from the third round of the Abu Dhabi Championship at Yas Links on Saturday (par 72/GBR & IRL unless stated):

205 - Scott Jamieson 63-74-68

206 - Shane Lowry 67-72-67, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 65-74-67

208 - Shubhankar Sharma (IND) 70-71-67, Viktor Hovland (NOR) 64-74-70

209 - Ian Poulter 66-72-71, James Morrison 66-71-72, Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP) 69-71-69

210 - Andrea Pavan (ITA) 69-72-69, Adam Scott (AUS) 70-72-68

211 - Alexander Bjork (SWE) 68-71-72, Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 70-72-69, Justin Harding (RSA) 69-72-70, Jeff Winther (DEN) 71-69-71, Robert Rock 68-75-68, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 67-76-68


212 - Padraig Harrington 73-71-68

214 - Rory McIlroy 72-75-67

215 - Lee Westwood 71-74-70

218 - Collin Morikawa (USA) 73-74-71, Tommy Fleetwood 68-76-74

222 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 72-75-75

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