Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre is just one shot off the lead going into the final round of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai – the final event of the European Tour season.
MacIntyre, 24, vaulted up the leaderboard on Saturday with a bogey-free six-under 66 to lie ten-under, just one shot adrift of leaders Matt Fitzpatrick, Laurie Canter and Patrick Reed at the 54-hole stage.
The Scot is joined in a tie for fourth by Norwegian sensation Viktor Hovland, European Tour veteran Lee Westwood, and Spain's Adri Arnaus.
It's shaping up to be a potentially career-defining Sunday for MacIntyre.
Currently 59th on the Official World Golf Ranking, the Oban man needs to climb into the world’s top-50 by the end of the calendar year to earn a first-ever invite to The Masters. After three rounds in the Middle East this week, he’s projected to climb to 49th.
Victory tomorrow could also see him win the Race To Dubai - assuming other results go his way - becoming the first Scot to finish the year as Europe's No.1 golfer since Colin Montgomerie in 2005. All of which is to say nothing of the $3million cheque that the winner can look forward to.
Sensibly, he’s not allowing himself to dwell on all of the ‘what ifs’.
KEITH PELLEY ON PARTNERING WITH THE PGA TOUR, THE SCOTTISH OPEN'S FUTURE... AND COLOURFUL SPECS!
“It would mean everything, not just to me but my whole team, my family - but I've got a job to do,” he said. “I can't look too far ahead. Keep could go what I'm doing. If it's good enough, it's good enough. If not, well, then I've been beaten by a better man.”
MacIntyre, who won his first European Tour title in the Cyprus Showdown last month, has fond memories of this event. It was there that he sealed the European Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ title 12 months ago.
The key to today’s excellent performance was, he said, a hot putter.
“That's the difference in my game,” he said. “I normally hit a lot of greens, a lot of fairways. If the putter is there, then there are good scores.
“I know what it feels like to be in contention. I've had a few last year. I’m just looking out there and sticking to what I can do and see where I end up.”