It wasn’t nearly as spectacular on a dreich second day in the Close House bio-bubble in Newcastle, but Aberdeen’s David Law ensured he kept his momentum going to stay well in the hunt for the Betfred British Masters.
Law’s charge of seven birdies in eight holes on the opening day meant he had a one-stroke lead after 18 holes. But, while nothing as startling occurred as the weather closed in on the course, it was one sharp exclamation rather than rapid-fire scoring that allowed him a 69 and to complete the first 36 holes of the European Tour’s coronavirus comeback event with just one bogey.
He started the third day two behind Italy’s quickfire 23-year-old Renato Paratore – the fastest player in professional golf – but superbly placed to bid for his second tour title, to follow the Vic Open title he won in Australia in February of last year.
Law’s eagle at the long uphill 10th got him going after an initial run of nine pars to start his second round. An untidy bogey at the short 14th stalled him only briefly, corrected with a birdie at the long 17th.
“I’m happy with that,” he said afterwards. “I didn’t drive the ball particularly well, but the rough isn’t that thick round here and the greens are obviously soft, so you can get away with it.
“I hit a lot of greens on the front nine without hitting a lot of fairway. Back nine, I didn’t hit as many greens, but over the next two days, the important thing is to have opportunities.
“My iron play feels good and my putting feels good. If I can just drive in the fairway, it might just give me enough chances over the next two days.”
On the greens, Law has changed to an arm-anchor putting style, although he admits that part of his game was never a real problem.
“It just feels more consistent,” he said. “I had a conventional putting grip before and have never really struggled with my putting, but like everyone else, I always feel I can hole more putts.
“I like the arm-lock method, so when we locked down, I thought ‘I’ll give it a proper go’.
“It’s locked on my forearm and it makes my upper body a lot more still through the putt.
“I’m happy how that is going.”
Yesterday’s round was “one of those days when you hit it to 30 feet all day and two-putt”, but the exception was the four-iron to the hilltop 10th green and a 12ft eagle putt.
Englishman Dale Whitnell and South African Justin Harding started the day one stroke behind Paratore, while Law sat tied fourth on nine under alongside fellow Scot Calum Hill. Scott Jamieson (-3), Richie Ramsay (-2) and Grant Forrest (-1) also progressed to the final two rounds.