sport

Jamieson can follow Grace's lead

One year on from last-man-in Branden Grace winning the Volvo Golf Champions Scott Jamieson could well do the same thing 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 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.