Craig Howie has paid tribute to the humbling experience of his previous visit to the United Arab Emirates for his strong showing at the 2020 Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World.
The 26-year-old carded a blemish free first round of 64 at Jumeirah Golf Estates - Fire Course before enduring a roller coaster 68 on Thursday to sit on 12 under par.
And he is delighted to make his mark in the UAE compared to his last visit in 2013 as an amateur at Yas Links Abu Dhabi where he shot a first round 94 - a 30 shot swing to Wednesday.
Howie reflected on those experiences and believes it has made him appreciate the game more and become a better player as a result.
"To be honest, it was all a bit of a blur," Howie said. "I tried really hard to erase it from my memory but to be honest, it was one of the better things that has ever happened to me.
"At the time I was a pretty good golfer and hadn't had too many setbacks so it was quite a humbling experience.
"It kind of reminded me that the game isn't that easy and that you have to keep working hard. I've learned a lot from that and stands me in good stead.
"I was a good player. I was playing off plus four. I actually played okay, the next couple of months after that I won a couple of tournaments."
Howie hopes his relaxed manner in Dubai can help produce a strong finish to the tournament.
"My playing experiences were pretty limited on the European Tour before lockdown, I think I only played once," he added.
"This year was just about getting experience and trying to get the most out of the opportunities I do get.
"Thankfully I've played well. I'm not really sure why that's the case. I think I've been quite comfortable, expectations are fairly low and it seems to be a good recipe.
"The hotels, the car, the golf is just the added bonus on top. The food this week is incredible. The sun is shining so there is a lot to enjoy."