Caldwell one off the lead at the Scottish Challenge as he looks to turn his impressive form into a victory

Rian Noctor

Jonathan Caldwell (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Jonathan Caldwell is one off the lead in a six way tie for third place at the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge supported by the R&A.

On a blustery moving day at Newmachar Golf Club, the Northern Irishman shot a level par 71 to sit on 8-under one back of the two leaders. 

Caldwell mixed four birdies with two bogeys and a double bogey and after the round he said he is happy he held it together in the conditions and said he is looking forward to a charge at the title tomorrow.


“Bit of a battle really, the wind really blew. A lot of gusty winds and tight pins so it was challenging off the tee and on the approach shots but I managed to keep myself in it.

“Looking forward to it, I’ve got a chance to win. Hopefully I keep hitting it in the fairway and keep giving myself chances and hole a few putts”.

Caldwell will be looking to finish strongly and on the back of some impressive performances, he will look to take the confidence boost into the ISPS Handa World Invitational next week at Galgorm in Ballymena.

The Antrim man said he knows the course well and is looking forward to a few days off after a busy stretch the last few weeks.

“It’d be nice to finish strong tomorrow and have some confidence going into next week. I need a couple of days off before Galgorm. Thankfully I know it pretty well. I’ve been on the road for a few weeks and I’m pretty knackered so we’ll get it done tomorrow and take it easy for a few days”, he said.

Scottish veteran Craig Lee and England’s Sam Bairstow share the lead on nine under par heading into the final round. 46-year-old Lee carded a five-under par round of 66, which included a chip-in eagle on the par five 16th hole.

Lee, who is playing on a tournament invite is making his 60th Challenge Tour start which spans a twenty year career, now spends his time playing PGA events and Tartan Pro Tour events across the UK.

“It’s very hard to try to stay competitive with these guys, the distances they hit it,” he said. “This is a course that I can compete on with how fiddly the tee shots are and guys not hitting many drivers”, he said.

“I’ve got a different agenda than these guys. They’re trying to get onto the DP World Tour and I’m gearing up for the Seniors Tour but whatever I’m doing is clearly working.” 

Sam Bairstow had earlier set the target with a flawless bogey-free 66 which included five birdies. Playing in his first season since turning professional, he admits it’s been a rookie year full of learnings. 

“It’s a lot more golf than I played as an amateur,” he said. “With lots of travel, I’ve learnt to manage my energy a lot better. I was playing a lot more practice rounds earlier in the year. I give myself a lot more rest now”, he told the media.

Heading into tomorrow’s final round fourteen players are within two shots of the lead including DP World Tour winners Jonathan Caldwell, David Law and Steven Brown. 

Dermot McElroy shot a frustrating one-over par 72 to drop to one-under and in a tie for 50th place. Conor Purcell shot a three-over 74 to drop to one-over and into a tie for 57th place.

Caldwell gets his final round underway at 9.28am in the third last group.

The leaders will be paired together in the final group and tee off alongside Frenchman Romain Wattel at 9.50am local time. 


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