Tom Watson knows what he has to do. “You just have to get the ball on the fairway,” he said when addressing a packed media conference late on Friday.

A level-par round of 70, a scatter of front-nine bogeys and a couple of meaty down-hillers have kept the 59-year-old in the leaderboard spotlight. To wind the clock back some 32 years, it really was elementary, dear Watson…

Whether Watson can maintain his charge remains hugely questionable. The five-time winner says golf is a game that is in great shape, and that men who may not be perceived as being in great shape can still prosper.

But Old Tom Morris remains this competition’s most senior of winners and when you subtract 13 years from Watson’s age to come up with his, you can appreciate the magnitude of the task ahead.

Still, it’s fun while it lasts, and there was no shortage of humour when the American faced a huge media circus on Friday…

Watson in words:

“It was two sets of nine today; the outward nine was awful”

“Lady Turnberry really got her teeth out”

“The one thing I am doing well is putting my ball on the fairway”

“You make a game plan, and mine worked today, thanks to a couple of 60-footers”

“Sergio gave me a pick-me-up. He said: ‘Come on old man.’ That was nice.”

“It was kind of spiritual. Links golf is a fabric of my life. The memories were with me.”

“Links golf, I have played it when I am not playing well and it gets to you.”