Led by Ryder Cup recruit Paul Lawrie, who eased to the head of the order during the third round of the Johnnie Walker Championship, there was a five-strong home guard in the top-20 at the close of play. Even Colin Montgomerie, the former commander-in-chief of the European game who has slithered down in to the golfing rank-and-file, kept alive his outside hopes of a first tour win in five years after moving into a share of seventh. With Stephen Gallacher unleashing the heavy artillery and blasting a purposeful 65 to lurk in third on 207, this was a very good day on the local front.
It was Lawrie who spearheaded this Scottish expeditionary force in the upper echelons of the leaderboard as he took advantage of the near-perfect scoring conditions over the PGA Centenary course with a five-under 67.
That gave the 1999 Open champion a 12-under aggregate of 204 and a narrow, one stroke advantage over the charging Frenchman Romain Wattel, who showed just what could be achieved with a sparkling 63 that propelled him up 29 places.
Lawrie, feeling relaxed with his Ryder Cup place confirmed prior to this final qualifying event in Perthshire, bolstered his bid to add the Johnnie Walker title to the Qatar Masters crown he captured earlier in the year with a seven-birdie card. The last time the Aberdonian won twice in one season on the tour was in 1999, the year of his memorable Open triumph and his Ryder Cup debut.
"If I can hang on in the final round then it would be huge for me to have two wins in a Ryder Cup year," he said. "I'd go into it full of confidence. This week has been a lot easier for me.
"The fact I got over the line before this event was huge. I'm not someone who gets stressed out an awful lot, but the Ryder Cup is huge, it's been on my mind a lot because it's been so long since I played in it the last time. I was desperate to get in before this week."
Wattel, the 21-year-old from Montpellier who won the Scottish Open Strokeplay Championship as an amateur at Glasgow Gailes in 2010, made another mark in the home of golf with a nine-under round, the lowest of the week, which was illuminated by a six-under outward half of 30.
Gallacher also joined in the birdie feast as his bid to bridge an eight-year European Tour title gap gathered pace. On the back foot after an opening 74, the 2004 Dunhill Links champion, who finished just a shot outside a play-off in last year's Johnnie Walker event, has roared back into contention by covering his last 36-holes in 12-under.
"I've given myself a chance and I need one more low one," he said after firing four birdies over his closing five holes for a 65. Montgomerie, now languishing down in 510th on the global pecking order and without a tour win since the European Open in 2007, posted a 69 for a 209 to give him plenty to play for on the final day. "That's the best I've played in a number of years," declared the former Ryder Cup skipper.
For Nicolas Colsaerts, the Belgian who needs a win or a second place here to plunder the final automatic Ryder Cup spot, there is also plenty to play for.
The 29-year-old slipped back into a tie for 13th on 210 after a 71 and the reigning World Matchplay champion is steeling himself for one final assault.
"You can look at so many different scenarios, but my strategy is to shoot the best round of my career, plain and simple," he said. "I have no choice. I've shown passion, I'm playing with my guts and I'm just fighting like a dog."