Getting on to the European Tour can be a tough enough task. Staying there for a prolonged period can be even tougher.

Reminding Scott Jamieson that he is heading towards a 10th successive season at the top table is greeted with a nonchalant, satisfied smile but the Glasgow man is not wanting this mainstay status to be the height of his ambitions.

In golfing circle,s after all, the phrase “journeyman” tends to be one of those damned by faint praise kind of terms.

Here at the Turkish Airlines Open at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course, Jamieson pieced together a sturdy, five-under 67 that left him just two behind the pace-setting duo of Tom Lewis and Matthias Schwab.

After a steady if unspectacular season, Jamieson still has plenty to play for. A good showing this week could yet see him barge his way into the final two Rolex Series events of the campaign. If not, then he has yet another year on the European Tour to plan and prepare for.

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In the kind of fiercely competitive environment that’s as cut-throat as a stint in Sweeney Todd’s salon, Jamieson’s decade on the circuit is an admirable achievement in its own right.

At just 35, though, the former tour winner is hoping there’s more to come from his career than consolidation. “I’m proud that I have been out here for 10 years but then it is a dangerous one,” he reflected. “We are in the top echelon of golfers in Europe but then do you want to be out here and just be average? No, I don’t.

“I am not one to want to rest on my laurels. Yes, I have been out here 10 years and it’s a pat on the back. I have to recognise that it is a hell of a lot more years than your average guy who makes it onto the tour.

“But I’m just 35 and when I am in my mid-40s I should still be competing with the game’s

best. Hopefully I still have another 10 years to try to be as good as I can be.”

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Level-par through five holes, Jamieson enjoyed a productive little flurry with three birdies in four holes from the sixth in a profitable thrust highlighted by a raking putt of some 30-feet for a three on the eighth.

The Scot then finished with a flourish and made gains at the 17th and the 18th to hoist himself up the order in this cash-rich Turkey shoot.

After an encouraging start to the year, which included a top-five and a ninth, Jamieson’s season has been more dogged than dazzling. “It’s been pretty average,” he conceded. “But I have been working really hard on my game and it has to change at some point. This was a nice start.”

While co-leader Schwab illuminated his seven-under round with an eagle on the fourth, fellow front-runner Lewis produced a rousing back nine charge that could almost have been performed with a horse and lance.

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Tootling along at one-under, Lewis, whose career has enjoyed a terrific resurgence, reeled off six birdies in his last seven holes to thunder up the field. “When I missed an opportunity for birdie on 11, I said to my caddie. ‘I’m not going to make any birdies, they are not going to come’,”

said Lewis. “He said, ‘don’t worry, you’ll soon be saying that you can’t stop making them’ and that’s what happened.”

Justin Rose, who is aiming to win the Turkish Airlines Open title for the third year in a row, boosted those ambitions with a trio of late birdies at 16, 17 and 18 to finish with a five-under 67.

In this happy hunting ground of Antalya, Rose is now a combined 60-under-par for his 13 rounds in the event down the seasons.

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“I’d give my game six out of 10 today. But then 67 is a better score than six out of 10, so I feel like I’ve done a good day’s work,” he said. “The hot finish was exactly what I needed.”

Shane Lowry, the reigning Open champion, endured one of those frustrating days which included plenty of fine golf but much toil and trouble on the increasingly bobbly putting surfaces as he had to settle for a level-par 72.

“I played lovely all day. I can’t play any better than that but I literally couldn’t get the ball in the hole from three feet,” Lowry lamented.

Fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington had plenty to lament, meanwhile, as he racked up a crippling 10 with three trips to the water on the fourth in a 75.