Tyrrell Hatton was relishing the challenge of the Championship Course Carnoustie after a blistering second nine kept his hopes of a third consecutive Alfred Dunhill Links Championship very much alive.
The Englishman turned in two over after starting on the tenth at Kingsbarns Golf Links but birdied the second, fifth, sixth and eighth to get himself within two shots of the first-round lead.
On a very windy day that made conditions tough for both the amateurs and the professionals, Hatton was delighted to fight back as he heads to what many consider to be the most difficult of the three courses played this week.
“I'm hoping Carnoustie will be not so windy,” he said. “Conditions hopefully will be kind. Obviously we know the course well from playing here the last few years and they had the Open this year.
“It's a course that I'm pretty comfortable on so hopefully I can keep playing well and post a good score.”
He added: “It was a tough day, tough conditions out here, so it was always going to be tough for scoring.
“I feel like I actually played okay. I hit a few poor shots, which is easy to do today, but happy with how I played my last nine holes. Gave myself plenty of opportunities and it was nice to hole a couple and just happy to get under par.”
American Brooks Koepka was also at two under after the double reigning Major Champion birdied his final hole at Kingsbarns.
The 28 year old was one over after six holes but birdied the 16th, 17th and ninth and he was delighted to get some links golf under his belt before tackling Carnoustie.
“It feels pretty good,” he said. “Obviously it's tough conditions, the wind is blowing, I'm pleased with my round.
“Any time you play some links golf, the more rounds of links golf you can get going into Carnoustie is going to be good. I played it on Wednesday, it wasn't blowing too bad. Carnoustie can be very difficult in some wind and hopefully it stays calm enough.”