There was a time when Wentworth was such a happy hunting ground for the golfing tartan army, that the strokesavers for the West Course just about featured the heraldry of Scottish clans instead of yardages.

Between 1998 and 2004, for instance, the European Tour’s flagship title was adorned in the saltire on five occasions with the bold Colin Montgomerie winning three in a row during his purposeful, profitable pomp.

Here at the 2019 BMW PGA Championship, the Scots posse in one of the strongest fields of the season made a decent fist of it in the shimmering September sunshine as Scott Jamieson, Robert MacIntyre and Russell Knox all finished in the upper echelons behind the early leader, Matt Wallace.

Jamieson was up and at it while the larks were still wearily flapping a wing at the snooze button as he marched out with the first group of the day in the dawn patrol and marched back in again with a sprightly four-under 68 which left him three adrift of Wallace.


“That’s the earliest I’ve ever been up for a round here,” said Jamieson after posting just the fourth sub-70 score of his 27 rounds in this championship.

“It was tough early on. It was cold, the ball was going nowhere and the rough seemed so thick with the dew. But if you get through the opening four holes in level par, you’re in pretty good shape.”

In a neatly assembled round which included just 26 putts, Jamieson followed an early stream of sturdy pars with a birdie on the sixth where he trundled in a raking 30-footer.

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Last week, Jamieson, a winner on the European Tour in 2012, led the KLM Open at halfway but slithered out of the running with a ruinous 76 on day three as he eventually finished 21st.

“I just struggled off the tee but I never thought the game was that far away,” he said. “I just need to find a way to keep hold of it longer. If I drive it well, I should be in contention.”

At one stage of the morning, MacIntyre, with a trio of runners-up finishes on the tour this season, was perched at the top of the leaderboard having recovered from a bogey on the first with a burst of six birdies in nine holes from the fourth. The Oban man had a four-footer for another birdie on the 14th but missed it and that seemed to be the catalyst for a little wobble as he stumbled to a brace of bogeys at the 15th and 16th in a three-under card.


“Walking off the last green, I was livid,” said the West Course debutant. “The last five or six holes were probably the worst I’ve played this season. Three-under is a bit disappointing, but, then again, I will take it after a bogey start.”

Knox, meanwhile, was forced into a variety of early salvage operations as a few ropey drives left him on the back foot. He emerged unscathed from his ventures off the beaten track, though, and was more than content with a spirited 69.

“It was a miracle really and prob-ably one of the best rounds I’ve played in a long time,” admitted the two-time PGA Tour winner.

“I started off like a 15-handicapper but I had a good attitude, stuck at it and eventually got comfortable.

“Three-under on a tough course and feeling dreadful for 12 holes is a decent sign. It proved that my mental approach is good.”