Euro Tour: Matt Wallace takes three-shot lead at Scottish Championship
Matt Wallace hasn't won on the European Tour for over two years. On Saturday, he put himself in position to end that streak. Wallace took (...)
Matt Wallace hasn’t won on the European Tour for over two years. On Saturday, he put himself in position to end that streak.
Wallace took charge of the Scottish Championship with a third-round 66 at Fairmont St. Andrews in Scotland. The highlight of the Englishman’s day came at the relatively short par-4 seventh, where he placed his tee shot within 25 feet of the hole. He proceeded to curl in the ensuing eagle putt.
Wallace finds himself at 18-under par, three shots ahead of the field going into Sunday’s final round. He was bogey-free, and two of his four birdies came on the last two holes. The 30-year old danced for the cameras and shouted out to his coach Graham Walker after sinking a chip shot for birdie on No. 17 from a bunker.
“I enjoyed it a lot,” Wallace said about his performance. “Especially at the end there, you know, to finish the way I did was really nice. It’s probably the best I’ve ever handled myself, you know? I stayed really patient, and it showed there by the end.”
Second place currently belongs to another Englishman, Garrick Porteous. Like Wallace, Porteous is 30, but has only one career Euro Tour title to Wallace’s four. Porteous exploded out of the gates with five birdies on the front nine, but slowed down on the back nine with just two birdies and a bogey.
“You can get it going on the front nine,” said Porteous, who sits at 15 under. “Off the tee, it was just in play all the time, which gave myself obviously enough chances to get close to the pins and then I was rolling it really well. Holing a lot of putts, which is nice.”
Adrian Otaegui, 27, is in third and might be feeling fortunate to be there. The Spaniard lit up St. Andrews with a stellar opening-round 62 (10 birdies, no bogeys), but came back down to Earth with consecutive 70s in the next two rounds. Otaegui’s Saturday was nothing special, with four birdies and two bogeys, but at 14 under, he has the chance to make a run at Wallace and Porteous.
Rounding out the top four is American Sean Crocker. The 24-year old put in a Jekyll and Hyde-esque performance: he eagled the seventh and carded seven birdies, but had four bogeys to go with them. He is one back of Otaegui at 13 under.
The final round of the Scottish Championship takes place on Sunday. Golf Channel’s coverage will run from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET.