SCOTT Vincent was left to rue an average round three performance on Saturday at the BMW SA championships at the Glendower Golf Club in Ekurhuleni, as he missed on the chance to bag his first European Tour title.
BY HENRY MHARA
After carding an opening round of two-under 70 on Thursday, the 25-year old followed it up with a blistering 66 on Friday that consisted of an impressive seven birdies to move into contention for the ₧1 008 750 tournament.
However, a horrible round three that kicked off with a triple bogey saw him lose track of the other leading players, and while he recovered on the back nine with a total four birdies including two gains on the final two holes, the damage had already been done.
Determined to right the wrongs from the previous day, Vincent began the final round yesterday by carding a birdie at the opening par five hole.
But he dropped a shot immediately at the par three second, and waited until the eighth hole to gain another shot.
He improved immensely after the turn, with a colourful three birdies and sinking an eagle at the par five fifteenth to sign for a five under 67 for an overall -14, seven shots behind winner Chris Paisley.
The British, 31, finished with a tournament total of 21 under-par, three shots ahead of home favourite Branden Grace (68), the world number 30 and highest ranked player in the field.
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Vincent finished fourth in a three-way tie, two shots behind JC Ritchie of South Africa.
While the talented former St John’s College student could have done better, Vincent would feel it was a good start to the year, as he continues his rise following a third place finish at the Indonesia Masters in December.
A win at the weekend could have seen him emulating some of the country’s greatest ever golfers Tony Johnstone and Mark McNulty, who have both won the prestigious tournament.
Vincent’s fellow countrymen at the tournament Mark Williams and Marc Cayeux both didn’t fare well, with the former finishing on position 20 at nine under, while the latter failed to make the cut.
Williams tried to rally in the last two rounds after a slow start, but even a total 69 and 68 on the final two days, could not rescue his tournament.
The tournament is the second oldest Open championship in the world having first been formally played in 1903.