“I started on the tenth tee this morning and was under par after nine holes, and I thought to myself, 'solid nine, might be a decent round',” he said. “I birdied the first three of my back nine and I was on a bit of a roll from there.
“I missed a few greens early on, and those momentum putts are massive for keeping your round going. That was a really good thing for me today.
“It caught me out a couple of times actually around the greens. I was in the thick rough around the green and I played quite a nice shot and it landed dead. It didn't release as far as I thought, and it took a few holes to get used to that. But the greens are probably as good as I've ever putted on - they're a real pleasure to play on.”
The Bristol man missed a large chunk of the season following the recurrence of a back injury at the BMW PGA Championship in May, and is still having to cope with the physical limitations of a bulging disc.
"I arrived on Sunday night but on Monday I just walked a bit of the course," he said. "Then I played nine holes on Tuesday and the other nine on Wednesday.
"After a long haul flight I was feeling it, and there's no point playing 18 holes of practice in pain. I'm having to manage it every day. I'm hardly doing anything in the gym; I just do some stretches each morning.
"It's been tough sitting out some big events, and I didn't play an event for 14 weeks. Now I'm back playing I don't want to go back to that, so I have to take care of myself."