There's nothing pretentious about Chris Doak.
In a world where molly-coddled professionals trot out the kind of inoffensive haverings that could come from some neatly manicured press release, the 36-year-old tells you how it is. "I'm absolutely f***ed," he reported.
There was a reason why Doak was jiggered, of course. "I still had five holes of my first round to play so I was up at 4.30," yawned the Scot, who was one of 33 players who needed to return to the West Course at the crack of dawn following Thursday's weather disruptions. He put the finishing touches to a three-under 69 before striding out again in the largely miserable conditions just after 10.30 and adding a level-par 72 for a three-under tally of 141 and a place in the leading 20.
It was a tough shift at the office and two late bogeys, at 16 and 17, showed that it had taken a toll. "I was flagging at the end and the legs just went a bit," admitted Doak, who will have to get used to the lack of sleep with his wife expecting a child in September. "I'm getting myself in training for that," he added with a smile.
Doak started the 2014 European Tour campaign in solid, if unspectacular style and made six cuts in his first eight events. Prior to making the cut here, though, the former Scottish PGA champion had made just one of his last seven and had withdrawn from three of those tournaments due to the niggling effects of a freak knee injury picked up in a car garage. No, he didn't collapse on it after seeing the mechanic's bill. "I just slipped when I was dropping the car off and it still gives me pain," said Doak, who safeguarded his tour card in the penultimate event of the 2013 season.
"I'm actually ahead of where I was this time last year but I've not been getting the results and I've not kicked on as well as I would have liked. A big cheque is good at any time of the season but it would be nice this week."
Marc Warren, who lost in a three-man play-off for the PGA title a year ago, posted a spirited 69 for a 142 aggregate and was joined on that score by Richie Ramsay. Paul Lawrie, runner-up in 2012, had a 71 for 143 while Stephen Gallacher made the cut on 145 despite slipping to a 75.