Not since the bold Maurice Flitcroft tried to hoax his way into Open qualifying back in the day by using fake names and false moustaches has there been such intrigue whipped up by a golfing nom de plume.

Here at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the pseudonym ‘Andrew Waterman’ had appeared on the drawsheet for the $5 million Pro-Am contest only to be altered at the last-minute to reveal the true identity of the amateur player in question.

It was His Excellency, Yasir Al-Rumayyan. Not quite a humble crane operator from Barrow like Flitcroft then, but the man in charge of the colossal purse strings of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) which bankrolls the LIV Golf Series.

It was fitting, therefore, that Peter Uihlein, one of four LIV rebels competing this week, ended up in a share of the lead after a sparkling eight-under 64 lit up a dour day in the Auld Grey Toun.

Uihlein, invited to the event by Dunhill Links supremo Johann Rupert, had Al-Rumayyan as his amateur partner in a group which also included the R&A’s chief executive, Martin Slumbers.

So, were there any juicy discussions between Al-Rumayyan and Mr Slumbers about Saudi involvement in the future of the game as they ambled up towards their respective balls in the mounds of Miss Grainger’s Bosoms on the Old Course’s 15th?

We will never know because a stern-faced private security guard swiftly intervened when the small gathering of golf writers approached Al-Rumayyan for a quick blether at the conclusion of the round.

Al-Rumayyan did manage to say, “it’s a great thing,” before being carted off. Presumably, that was about the opportunity to play the Dunhill Links. Or perhaps he was just expressing delight at escaping from the pesky golf scribblers?

As for Uihlein? Well, he let his clubs do the talking. A rebel with a cause and all that. The 34-year-old’s eight-birdie 64, which left him in a tie at the top with Sebastian Soderberg and Adri Arnaus, reaffirmed the American’s affinity for this part of the golfing world.

It was on the Old Course 10 years ago that Uihlein came within a whisker of a magical 59 on his way to a second-place finish in the Dunhill Links Championship. A lot has happened since then.

Along with a host of global big guns, Uihlein sacrificed his PGA Tour membership to defect to the breakaway LIV Series last year as the golfing landscape at the top of the professional game was rocked by the kind of earth-shattering event that was akin to the impact of the mega-meteor that obliterated the dinosaurs.

In the turbulent months that followed, the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the PIF, which is governed by Al-Rumyan, announced an armistice and unveiled plans to work together. On the eve of the Dunhill Links, the aforementioned Rupert was reported to say that, “sport is supposed to unite people, not divide, we need to get peace.”

Uihlein, a former DP World Tour rookie of the year when he was cutting his teeth in Europe, agreed with those sentiments. Asked if the professional game could leave the rancour and division behind, he said: “I hope so. I think Mr Rupert nailed it in his quotes. Golf brings people together. Time will tell.

"I’m not privy to what goes on behind closed doors. It’s nice that Johann extended an olive branch and he (Al-Rumayyan) is here.”

Uihlein’s cracking round on the Old Course included four birdies in his first five holes as well as a raking birdie putt of almost 50-feet on the 14th. “I’m just trying to make the most of a good opportunity,” added Uihlein, who was 10th here a year ago. As for partnering his Saudi paymaster? “All the other LIV boys were on the other courses so it was nice to have a bit of comfort out there,” he smiled. “I didn’t feel like the only one.”

Soderberg also blitzed the Old Course in 64 blows while, over at Carnoustie, Arnaus conjured a fine finish and eagled the 14th before picking up birdies at 17 and 18 to jump into a tie at the top.

Scotsman Grant Forrest trundled in an eagle putt on his last hole – the ninth – at Carnoustie to polish off a tidy 65 to lurk just one off the lead.

Aberdeen’s David Law joined compatriot, Scott Jamieson, on the six-under mark while Ryder Cup hero, Robert MacIntyre, opened with a two-under 70 at Carnoustie which was illuminated by a smiling chip-in for eagle on the 14th.