By Kalika Mehta
Last Updated: 14/07/18 8:29pm
Jens Dantorp will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Scottish Open as a change in wind direction created difficulties at Gullane.
With the wind blowing in the opposite direction than over the first two days, the opening nine holes played far harder than previously, but that meant better scoring was possible on the back stretch.
Dantorp, who knows a top-three finish will see him qualify for The Open, picked up birdies on the final three holes to end the third round at 12-under par.
Former champion Rickie Fowler and Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick were two of six players to finish a shot off the lead.
Fowler suffered three bogeys in his opening seven holes but came back strongly, picking up back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th to end two under for the day.
“I enjoy playing this golf course,” Fowler said. “Looks like we’re having to have some more similar wind tomorrow, which is nice, that’s how the golf course is supposed to play.
“The first two days, it did not exactly show its teeth. It’s a good test out there today and I think tomorrow, with those conditions, it’s going to be fun. Someone is going to have to go out and earn it.”
Irish Open runner-up Ryan Fox and Australian Scott Hend – who is looking to qualify for The Open – carded 63s, while Fitzpatrick came into the clubhouse with a 64 as the trio made the most of easier conditions during their early starts.
Fox produced three birdies and an eagle in the last six holes – including a two-putt birdie on the 18th having almost driven the green, with Marcel Siem and Alexander Bjork rounding off the chasing pack.
Tyrrell Hatton could only manage par for the day to remain at 10 under alongside fellow Englishman Aaron Rai, who produced birdies at the 16th and 17th.
Irish Open winner Russell Knox also finished two-shots off the lead with a 66 at his home National Open, having grown up in Inverness.
“Winning your home Open is a massive goal,” Knox said. “I watched Rory do it a few years ago in Ireland, which was cool.
“I’m obviously in a decent position and I’m playing well, so I’m going to give it 100 per cent tomorrow.”
Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman, who is currently ranked 1,380th in the world, produced an up-and-down round, finishing two-under par for the day and three shots off the lead.
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“I was a lot meaner in my prime,” Immelman said. “I don’t know if I have that anymore.
“I have been debating with my wife over the last few years, wondering if I still have that streak in me that I think most great athletes have. They have that moment where they can really knuckle down and wipe out the opposition, so to speak.
“I don’t know if I’ve got all of that left in there, but it sure was fun to get out there and feel like I was in the thick of it.”
Meanwhile, overnight leader Robert Rock suffered a tortuous day, finishing six-over par for the day as he fell away.
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