PORTSMOUTH, England – Professional golfer Sean Crocker, 25, is poised to win his first tournament on the European Tour and collect about US$320 000. But he will have to remain at his best to hold off a challenging pack on the final wind-swept day.

What better place for success after five years as a pro than close to St Andrews Old Course on the other side of the bay on Sunday?

 Crocker submitted a score of 69, three under par, at the Scottish links course Fairmont in the third round Saturday, giving him a sudden lead of two shots. He is on 18 under, with five other players from a variety of nations still close up in a determined and sustained chase, led by Sweden’s Jens Dantorp.

 After equalling the course record on the first day, Crocker nevertheless led by just two shots at that stage. This was reduced to just one on Friday. And going to the last here Saturday he was level with Sweden’s Jens Dantorp and with Scotland’s David Law joining Louis de Jager of South Africa close up, when standing on the 18th tee-box.

 But the fist-pumping Crocker chipped into the hole from behind the 18th green for a devastating eagle two. And that enabled him to regain his two-shots advantage for the Sunday play.

 It all looked so different at the 13th when Crocker hooked into an unplayable lie. He had to drop out and lost two shots to par as well as the sole leadership. But he showed great character in holding on until the final eagle that showed his opponents that he has grit and determination. He certainly has the swing to do the job. Commentators described it as “full and fluid.” But will he sustain it against the pressure in his bid to break a losing streak of five years?


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