Stonehaven amateur Sam Locke said he was proud of himself after battling back from a bad start to make the cut at his first major.
Locke, 19, was the leading Scot after his one over par first round at Carnoustie, but was in danger of missing the weekend with three dropped shots in three holes yesterday.
However, he steadied things with pars before rattling off three straight birdies from the 13th.
Bogeys on 16 and 18 closed out the round, but Locke’s two-day three-over total put him into today’s draw.
Locke now looks likely to follow in the footsteps of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy by taking home the silver medal for leading amateur.
With all the other competing amateurs having failed to progress to the weekend, he only needs to complete all four rounds to take the award.
Locke, who will make the decision on turning professional based on his Open play, said: “I felt I had to dig quite deep to get some of it back.”
Despite his tricky start, the Paul Lawrie Foundation player didn’t lose his head, adding: “I just thought ‘keep plugging away’. “You never know what’s around the corner in this game,”
He said he had been putting and chipping quite well over the last two days.
“So I felt, if I could keep it in play on the tee, at least give myself chances for birdies, a few of them are going to go in – and thankfully they did.
“But, yeah, at that moment, I was getting a bit worried, but you’ve just got to keep going and see what you can do.”
Locke and his playing partners, American Brandt Snedeker and Australian Cameron Davis, were yesterday’s first group. They set off at 6.35am, meaning the reigning Scottish Amateur champion faced an anxious wait to find out if he’d made the cut.
Locke joked in his post-round interview that he was going to eat, chill out – he’d had to get out of bed at 3.45am – and pray for rain.
However, by 6pm it was clear he was safely into the weekend.
It is a remarkable achievement for a player who only made it into the field by winning final qualifying at the Renaissance Club, again in a field of mostly pros.
As to whether he had surpassed his aims for the Open, Locke said: “I didn’t really put in a number that I wanted to score.
“I just wanted to do the best I can every day on every single hole, just try and make it the best you possibly can.
“I gave it 110% both days.”
He pointed to his dad Andrew, the head instructor at the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre and his caddie for the week, and Lawrie himself as calming influences.
He said: “I think we’re both in the same situation; we’ve both never been in this situation before.
“And I think it was good that we were both together – he knows my game better than anybody.
“It was a good fit to have on the bag. He’s obviously my coach as well, so it’s nice for me as well to have him there because I wouldn’t have got here if it wasn’t for him.”
Of mentor Lawrie, he added: “He’s been supportive this week, which has been nice, and he helps me a lot.”