Andy Sullivan was delighted to have a smile back on his face as he equalled the lowest opening round of his European Tour career at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.
The Englishman achieved his best finish in a Rolex Series event with a tie for second at last week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and he carried that form into a first round 64 at The Renasissance Club.
He announced himself on the European Tour in 2015, winning three times as he earned a place on the 2016 Ryder Cup team but win number four has yet to arrive.
The 32-year-old missed just three cuts from 26 events last season but was delighted to be back genuinely contending at the top end of the leaderboard with his trademark grin back on his face.
"Playing bad sucks," he said. "But you do learn a lot. You learn a lot more when you are playing bad and you learn when the good stuff comes and I'm going to really enjoy it again.
Sometimes you have to take a backwards step to learn and really figure out where to go and where not to go - Andy Sullivan
"That's what I've been doing the last few weeks, really playing with a smile on my face and going out there and enjoying it. Hopefully as long as that can continue, I'll continue shooting good scores.
"You want to peak for these sort of tournaments and get in contention. It's part and parcel of it. First time I've been in contention in a long time last week.
"For me, it's just focusing on going out there and having fun. I know if I do that, I'm going to give myself the best chance of being in and around it.
"I'm just going to continue to have a laugh with my caddie, constantly ribbing each other. That's the way I'm going to get through it and hopefully it pays off - it did back in 2015.
"It's been more of a frustrating two years than patient. I think things came very quickly to me, Ryder Cup and winning three times.
"Sometimes you have to take a backwards step to learn and really figure out where to go and where not to go. I just took a bit of a spiral but I'm finding my way back on my feet again and starting to play some really good golf again."