THE storm-tossed waters of a golfer’s head could just about appear on the Shipping Forecast but Paul O’Hara’s tranquil mind kept him on course for victory in the Loch Lomond Whiskies Scottish PGA Championship at shimmering West Kilbride.

The 35-year-old, who won the national title in 2019, posted a third round four-under 67 for a 15-under aggregate of 198 and moved clear of nearest rival, Sam Kiloh.

As the dominant force on the Tartan Tour in recent years, O’Hara’s competitive instincts are undeniable but allied to that clinical edge is a calmness of thought that remains a vital weapon in the armoury.

“There are more things to worry about than golf so I don’t beat myself up too much on the course,” he said. “You’ll not do yourself any favours if you let the game get to you.”

O’Hara had been locked at the top with Alastair Forsyth teeing-off in day three but it was Kiloh who became his main rival as the third round unravelled.

The Deeside pro leaked a shot on the first but roared back with a thrilling blitz of five birdies over his next six holes to vault into contention.

O’Hara was keeping it steady, though, and there was a significant swing late on when Kiloh spilled a shot at 17 just as O’Hara was picking up a stroke behind him on the 16th.

“I’m playing smart golf,” added O’Hara. “The leaderboard is still quite bunched and I know the other boys will come out firing. But I’ve got good experiences to fall back on when I’m in this position.”

Kiloh almost closed the gap when a birdie putt on the last reared up just half-a-roll short of the hole. His 67, though, left him with plenty to play for in a rare outing on the domestic circuit. “I’ve only played four or five events this year due to family commitments and the fact I’m busy with my PGA training,” said the 27-year-old.

One of Kiloh’s mentors, Paul Lawrie, won the Scottish PGA title twice and the prospect of joining his fellow Aberdonian on the roll of honour is driving his title tilt.

“It would be great to follow in his footsteps,” he said.

Forsyth made three bogeys around the turn but rallied with a brace of birdies at 14 and 15 in a 70 to stay in the hunt at 12-under.