Billy Horschel could only smile ironically as he approached the Swilken Burn. What had seemed a perfect approach with his second shot of the day during the third round of the Alfred Dunhill Links had pitched three inches short, hit the pin hard and spun all the way back into the water.
Undaunted, the American climbed down and took a stance in the slow-flowing stream.
However, fortune was still against him and his ball ricocheted off the front wall of the burn and ended ten yards behind him, back on the 1st fairway.
After a deep breath to reset, a delightful chip left Horschel with a tap-in for an adventurous five to open his round on the Old Course.
Horschel – winner of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last month – has been playing with his father in the Team Championship and Billy Snr. celebrated his 70th birthday on Friday at Kingsbarns, where Alfred Dunhill presented him with celebratory champagne after his round.