Being left feeling blue by your form on the greens is a chronic ailment of this infuriating game. Stephen Gallacher’s putter may be left feeling black and blue after this.

“I will go to see Phil Kenyon (putting coach), break a few putters and get something else to putt with,” sighed Gallacher with a resigned grimace after a buffeting on the Old Course.

Three shots off the lead heading into the closing day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the 43-year-old, who was the only Scot to make the 54-hole cut, was blown off course by the gusts as he came home in 41 en route to a three-over 75 which dropped him back into a share of 10th on an eight-under tally.

“I think I’ve had nine three-putts during the week,” added the 2004 Dunhill Links champion. “I’ve played so much better than my score suggests, so it’s really frustrating. I’m hitting the ball really good, probably as well as I have for years and years. I’m just not scoring.”

This was always going to be a day for girding the loins and trying to limit the damage as the wind whipped over the ancient links.

Two-under to the turn, the wheels came off Gallacher’s challenge on the 10th when he had to come out of the bunker backwards and racked up a shuddering double-bogey six. Three more leaked shots on the way in added to the sense of frustration.

“It was a tough day obviously, and very cold,” he said. “I just hit a few shots in the bunkers, which you can’t do around here.

“When I hit it in the bunker at the 10th, that was me done. That was the end of my momentum.”

You’ve got to cling to the positives in this business and the fact that Gallacher got himself involved in the cut-and-thrust at the sharp end of affairs gives him something to build on heading into the last couple of regular events of the season.

“It was good to be in the last group on a Sunday again,” said the former Ryder Cup player “That’s why you practice. It’s just a shame I didn’t follow it through. That shows there’s still work to be done.”