There can be no better form heading into the defence of a tournament than winning the week prior.
That’s just what Scot Robert MacIntyre will be hoping with a round to play in the weather-affected inaugural Korean Championship.
The Oban lefty warmed to the cold conditions with a last hole birdie in a third round 69 to move into the clubhouse lead moments before the siren sounded to halt play due to fading light, and this after bad weather had delayed the start of play on the Jack Nicklaus named course at Incheon in suburban Seoul.
"Boom… Mikey, go get my ball!" @robert1lefty | #KoreaChampionship pic.twitter.com/0YG31AqU5D
— DP World Tour (@DPWorldTour) April 29, 2023
Six players, including Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and tied with MacIntyre on eight-under through 16 holes, still had holes to complete when play was called for the day, and they will return to the course at 8am Sunday (local time) to complete their rounds.
Others included South Korean and overwhelming crowd favourite Sang-hyun Park, and a 13-time winner in Asia and with 11 of those victories on the Korean Tour, who is at seven-under and with four holes to complete.
Actually, it’s Scots one and two in the clubhouse with the Florida-based Scott Jamieson managing to complete his round with a one-under 71 to be lying at seven-under and just a shot adrift of his compatriot.
MacIntyre travelled to Asia after some seven week’s off and picked-up from his share of 7th ahead of the break at the Magical Kenya Open with a share of sixth in last week’s ISPS Handa Japan Championship just to the north of Tokyo.
And now the current World No. 90 has put himself in position to win what would be a third DP World Tour title following last October’s Italian Open triumph, and on this year’s host Ryder Cup course, in a play-off over the reigning US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick.
MacIntyre capped his third round of four birdies with a birdie at the par-5 18th hole for a third day running.
“It was absolutely brilliant to be honest”, he said to get finished before play was halted. “And with the weather, it was coming in today. I knew that the greens are crazy here, so you can’t really be in perfect spots. You are always going to miss greens and I missed quite a lot of greens today. I just knew that my attitude had to be good and just accept what it ended up and just try your best.
“I surprised myself with some of the shots. Even that one on 18, it was just kind of cut, spin it and it just came out dead straight. But it’s got so much spin on it and that helps.
“I left myself in the right spots, always into thea wind. On 17 it was a bit more difficult. It wasn’t sitting, I didn’t get the preferred lie, so it wasn’t perfect. It was sitting higher and popped a little on me. But you know what? It was overall a really good round of golf.
“Mike (caddie) said to me going out, if we can get in around level par, we’re still in with a shout. He was right. We just hung in there. It’s an attitude. It’s a big attitude. This weekend, you have to be positive. Tomorrow’s going to be the same no matter where we end up. Just stay positive and give it your best”.
There’s also no discounting Jamieson who quietly continues to put himself in frame for a long overdue second DP Tour victory.
It was ten years last December when Jamieson captured the rain-shortened Nelson Mandela Championship though the now 39-year old has not given up on making it a double victory toast.
And Jamieson was very much in the same frame of mind as MacIntyre in being allowed to complete his round rather than return for the 8am Sunday (local time) restart.
“Gary Tait (referee) did us a favour there, he asked us on 17 if we wanted to try to get done. We’ll wait and see (how finishing now affects tomorrow)”, said Jamieson. “I didn’t want to have to get up early to do a full warm up, have to sit for a few hours and then do another full warm up. I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to hit the tee shot on 18.
“It helps to have experience because your expectations drop and your acceptance levels increase. Yesterday there were a lot of chances for birdies, but I knew they would be few and far between today.
“My short game was good, when I missed greens I hit some really nice chips. That was the key”.
And the Glasgow-born Jamieson, who has now lived for a long time in the Sunshine State of Florida, was also asked if he was feeling at home in the Scottish-like weather.
“I don’t know if I can claim to be Scottish any more, I have been freezing all week”, said Jamieson smiling. “I have gone soft with too much warm sunshine in Florida. But I’ve had my fair share of experience playing in this weather, so that probably helps”
Leave a comment