David Law managed to beat both his illustrious playing partners on the third day at the abrdn Scottish Open, but a bit of cruel luck cost him what could be a key stroke going into Sunday.
England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry of Belgium share the lead with Jon Rahm a shot back, and Law had a chance to be just three behind.
The 30-year-old Aberdonian outscored both former PGA champion Justin Thomas and Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter, but a good drive at the final hole actually cost him.
‘It was an annoying way to finish’
“It was a good strike, but it ended in a divot, and I couldn’t really reach the green from there,” he said. “It was an annoying way to finish but I feel I’m still in there with a chance.”
He enjoyed playing in a banner group but the focus is still on doing as well as he can for himself.
“Without a doubt, it’s the highest-profile three-ball I’ve been in,” he said. “I’ve played with plenty of big players, but not two at the same time.
“But as good as it was to play with Ian and Justin, I just had to focus on my own stuff and do what I had been doing for the first two days.
“One of the main goals today was to think about myself. I am glad that I managed to do that.”
‘You have to cherish it’
Law is still top Scot but is now tied with fellow Aberdonian Richie Ramsay, who put his third round 65 in his pocket for future reference.
The 38-year-old has had a solid season without being in contention to win much. But he’s followed up last week’s tie for fourth in Ireland to now lie at 10-under going into the final day.
“Moments like today give you an insight into yourself. It says you can still compete out here,” he said. “It’s sometimes more in your mind. I probably enjoy it a little bit more, I know where I am in my career.
“I know that I am not going to be around forever. Playing in a Scottish Open on your home course against one of the best fields in the world? You have to cherish that and not put yourself under too much pressure.
“Today is one of those days that I will put in the bank and use at some point in the next six months. I don’t know when, but I will use it as fuel.”
Bob ‘raging’ at missed putts on the back nine
Robert MacIntyre admitted he was “raging” having played himself into position after 10 holes and then out of it again.
The Scot was five-under for the day after 10 holes. At 10-under for the tournament he’d moved to just a couple off the lead at the time. But he ran into putting troubles on the back nine. A three-putt bogey at the 14th left him five behind the leaders going into the last round.
“I was right back in the golf tournament. Now I feel as if I’m right back out of it just with a couple of putts,” he said.
“Early on it was easy golf. I was knocking it onto par-5s in two and driving the green at the par-4s. It wasn’t as if I was hitting great shots to make things happen, it was just so simple.
“I can get back into it. But they are stretching away from me. I was trying to get to 12-under, I’m just so disappointed with the finish.”
Connor Syme had a two-under 69 to move up to six-under and still in search of a good cheque at the $8m Rolex Series event.