But, along with fellow Scot Bob MacIntyre, the 30-year-old Aberdonian has certainly not given up hope of catching Højgaard at Al Hamra Golf Club, even though the young man out in front looks to be a superstar in the making.
Law, who started out with a two-shot lead after opening rounds of 66 and 64, had produced a calm and composed performance for 17 holes in the penultimate circuit before dropping his only shot of the day at the par-5 18th.
Having been overtaken by Højgaard for the first time at the previous hole, the Scot took on a 3-wood for his second shot in the left rough but scuttled it and couldn’t get to the green with his next effort from a waste area.
“It’s annoying to finish like that,” admitted Law after signing for a 69, which moved him to 17-under but now playing catch up after 20-year-old Højgaard underlined his class by picking up five shots in the last six holes as I have signed for a 64.
“Got a bit greedy,” added Law, who is bidding to land a second DP World Tour win exactly three years after his breakthrough in the Vic Open. “Thought we could maybe nick it with a 3-wood, chase it up the front and make a 4, which is a mentality you want to have.”
While it could be a tough ask to reel in Højgaard on a course that is made for his prodigious power, Law certainly hasn’t thrown in the towel. “I played really well, felt comfortable,” he said. “There were a lot of positives and a lot of things to take into tomorrow.”
Højgaard landed his breakthrough win in the Italian Open last season and is now aiming to take another step closer to matching twin brother Rasmus’s haul of three titles on the circuit.
“You want to be in these positions,” he said. “But a lot can happen in 18 holes. I’ve heard it will be a little more windy, so you never know.”
Finn Tapio Pulkkanen sits third on 16-under after matching Højgaard’s 64, with South African Oliver Bekker a further shot back following a 66 that was illuminated by six straight birdies.
Vindicating his decision to play in this event rather than head to Pebble Beach to start his 2022 campaign on the PGA Tour, MacIntyre sits joint-fifth on 14-under after a bogey-free 66. “I felt I played great,” said the 25-year-old Oban man. “Other than two flyers, I thought I had full control of my golf ball.
“I may be a few too many back, but, if we can have the start we did today and just keep going through the middle part of the round, then I can be right there.”
In his first start in 2022, new DP World Tour card holder Craig Howie birdies four of the last six holes for a 69 to sit on nine-under, two ahead of both Grant Forrest (68) and Scott Jamieson (71) and three better than Connor Syme (72).
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.