Tournament host Paul Lawrie and Gary Orr are leading the home challenge in the Scottish Senior Open but both felt they had missed a chance to get closer to leader Markus Brier at Royal Aberdeen.
Austrian Brier leads the way following an excellent six under par 65 at the Balgownie Links with Lawrie and Orr among the chasing pack at three under.
Former Open champion and defender Scottish Senior Open champion Lawrie was pleased with his round but believes it still could have been better.
He said: “I played really well today but I’m a little frustrated only to be three under. I know it’s still a good score and I’m not upset by it but I hit a couple of putts which were dead in the middle but they horseshoed out. When that happens you are never happy.
“Even with no wind three under round here is a decent effort. There’s not many scoring chances but I actually hit the ball pretty nice today.
“I’ve been struggling with my ball striking so when you get days when it’s decent you have to take advantage and I’m not sure I did that.
“I should have had at least three or four more but that will probably sound as if I’m moaning which I’m not.
“I’ve not been playing pretty well but I hit some really good shots today which you need to round here.
“You can’t score three under with the distance I hit now unless you are playing really well and I feel I did that. My only regret is that I didn’t take advantage more.”
Lawrie’s birdies came at the second, fifth, sixth and 12th but it was the dropped shot at 16 which was his source of frustration.
He said: “Those lip-outs were horrific. I hit a three iron off the tee at 16 and hit a seven iron in which I pushed a little. The pin was on the right and I was trying to hit it left of the pin. It was plugged in the bunker but I hit a beautiful shot to within five feet only for my putt to horseshoe out and come back to me.
“I shouldn’t have been over there in the first place but it’s frustrating that the only bogey I made happened like that.”
The 52 year-old is pleased with his solid start and hopes he can continue his form into the weekend.
He said: “I feel good. My back was a little stiff towards the end but not too bad. If I can keep my body in that shape I’ll be alright for the rest of the year.
“Scoring should be decent as there are a few chances but the tees are way back. It’s probably longer than when the Scottish Open was here which I was not expecting, but the course is magnificent. It couldn’t be any better.
“So far it has been absolutely brilliant and I’m sure it will continue on that vein. It’s great to host an event in my home city and see the people come out. It was good fun with the celebrities and I think we’re in for another two great days of golf.
“It’s a lovely day, it’s benign, and the course is playing pretty long. They’ve stretched it out as far as they can possibly go but if it blows a little it is going to be a tough test.”
Orr matched Lawrie’s 68 for three under, recovering from a dropped shot at the fourth to record birdies at the fifth, sixth, eighth and 12th.
While pleased with his start to the tournament he shared Lawrie’s sentiment that chances had been missed.
Orr said: “It was a good round. I was a wee bit scrappy at the start but played pretty well after that really. I had a few chances but I’m pretty pleased.
“It was perfect scoring conditions as the rain overnight has softened the course a bit. There wasn’t a breath of wind either which made for perfect scoring conditions to try to post a score. Three under is a good score.”