Scotland are not so much on course but seemingly a shoo-in to win the PGAs of Europe International Team Championship for the second time in three years following another high class display from Graham Fox.
The tartan trio of Fox, Graham Wright and Graeme Brown go into the final round of the tournament at Gloria Golf Club in Turkey with their advantage over the 22-strong field having more in common with a chasm than a cushion.
Ten strokes clear of second-placed Sweden and Ireland, the €6,000 first prize is clearly theirs to squander.
Golf, of course, is littered with last round collapses: think Greg Norman at Augusta in the 1996 Masters or Adam Scott in the Open at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s the summer before last.
Given the form of Fox, however, it’s difficult to envisage the Scots snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and failing to win the trophy for an eighth time.
Having put the New Course to the sword on day one with a bogey-free 11-under-par round of 61, four birdies in his first five holes suggested Fox was set for an action replay.
In the event, the 37-year-old experienced a birdie famine before signing off with two more at the 16th and 18th to finish on six-under for the round and be an astonishing 17-under for the tournament.
Factor in Wright’s contribution of three-under and the Scots are now 21-under for the tournament which, because of torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightning on the second day, has been reduced to three rounds.
Unsurprisingly, Fox’s round of six-under was the best of the day but Sweden’s Magnus Atlevi and Ralph Miller of defending champions Holland ran him close with returns of five-under.
Atlevi is now nine-under for the tournament and has been key to Sweden’s success; likewise Ireland’s Michael McDermott ,who has posted successive rounds of four-under, and Andrea Signor of Italy who is on seven-under.
Moreover with the Scots almost off the radar and three strokes spanning their six closest pursuers, all could be key in determining what appears to be the battle for second rather than first place.
Leading scores: 21-under: Scotland; 11-under: Sweden, Ireland; 10-under: Germany; 8-under: Holland, Italy, England.
The 2014 Annual Congress & ITC are supported by Gloria Golf Resort and the Ryder Cup European Development Trust. For more information on our partners, visit http://eur.pe/1aaFFgx.