English qualifier Robert Dinwiddie could not hide his delight after shooting himself into a tie for third place on the first day at the Open.
The 39-year-old, who has been doing some labouring for a construction firm to help make ends meet over the past two years, carded a five-under-par 67 at St Andrews on Thursday.
That left him level with Australia’s Cameron Smith and three off the lead held by American Cameron Young.
“I am very happy,” said Scottish-born Wandsworth resident Dinwiddie. “It was a fantastic day to be able to put together a good score.
“I was playing well. I just try to give every shot 100 per cent with concentration, effort and commitment.”
Dinwiddie admitted his round, which finished with a birdie at the 18th, had been a test of his resolve. On a day of slow play at the Old Course, his group – the penultimate three-ball of the day – took more than six hours to get round and finished in fading light after 10pm.
Dinwiddie, who is playing his third Open but his first since 2017, said: “You expect it to be a long round and I had plenty of food in my bag.
“It is a test physically, mentally and it is dark and getting cold. It was tough.”