Chris Doak made his first competitive round over this hallowed stretch of golfing turf look as easy as an amble across Grannie Clark's Wynd.
On a beautiful Fife day as calm as a Hindu cow, the 35-year-old romped to a nine-under 63 to barge his way into the top 10 during the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
His 16-under aggregate of 200 left him in a tie for ninth, four shots behind American frontrunner Peter Uilhein, who holed his second shot on the 18th at St Andrews to open up a two-stroke advantage over the chasing pack.
"I'm a Scotsman who doesn't like football and has only played St Andrews once," said Doak with a smile. The Scot has won in this neck of the woods before, though. A few days after landing the Scottish PGA Championship in 2010, Doak claimed the Tartan Tour's Sprint Series crown at the nearby Duke's Course.
The stakes are slightly higher here, of course. At 123rd on the European Tour's Order of Merit, Doak needs a big result to hoist himself into the card-retaining places of the leading 110. He's picked the right event to make a robust assault and, with a slice of a huge £3.1 million purse up for grabs, Doak is well on course to earn the £40,000 that would lift him into the safety zone . "I knew I needed a good week here, so I'm pretty chuffed," added the former Tartan Tour No 1, who scribbled down nine birdies on a neatly- assembled card.
It was another day of astonishing scoring in a championship held over the three fine links in St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. Paul Casey blasted a course-record-equalling 62 over a traumatised Old Course, but it was greeted with a shrug of the shoulders. It only moved him up into a share of 25th after all.
Uihlein continued to set a fearsome pace and, having began with a one-under round at Kingsbarns on Thursday, the impressive 24-year-old has covered his last 36 holes in 19 under par. That figure is a record low for successive rounds on the European Tour and it was aided by a chip from 47 yards on the Old Course's 18th which dropped into the hole for an eagle-two, a seven-under 65 and a 20-under 196.
There is a six-strong posse backed up behind him and that number includes the two-times Open champion Ernie Els, who fired a 64 for 198. Partnering his 70-year-old father, Neels, in the pro-am affair, the more care-free environment has helped to galvanise the man known as the Big Easy.
"I've been in a bit of a rut playing in that FedEx Cup over in the States and kind of going brain-dead," confessed Els, who helped South Africa to a brace of Dunhill Cup wins in the Auld Grey Toon back in 1997 and 1998. "This is a change that I needed."