Justin Rose was full of praise for the demanding Royal Aberdeen course after a second round 68 kept him in the hunt at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.
The 2013 US Open champion is well placed going into the weekend on an overall score of five-under par.
The Englishman elected to add the Scottish Open to his schedule after Phil Mickelson’s success by winning at Castle Stuart and then the Open championship at Muirfield last summer.
And he is delighted with how his links game is shaping up ahead of this weekend’s title push and next week’s major at Hoylake.
He said: “If you were choose to play only one course for the rest of your days it would have to be a links course based on what we have seen in the past two days.
“We were using completely different clubs today and it was a lot of fun.
“I really enjoy playing golf here – it is a golfing country. You only have to look up and down the coastline. There are some wonderful courses and the Scottish Open is a big tournament.
“A lot of people use it as a warm up for the Open championship but it is a great event in its own right. We are on a great golf course this year at Royal Aberdeen and I am enjoying every minute.”
While Rory McIlroy had managed to tame the Balgownie links by breaking the course record in a stunning first round of 64, Rose reckoned it was a much tougher proposition yesterday.
Rose, who was playing with Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood, said: “It was a beautiful day and an opposite wind to yesterday, which made life interesting. I haven’t played this course in that wind so I was paying attention at every shot and trying to re-learn the course.
“I was trying to follow Stephen and Lee a little bit because I know they have played the course in this wind.
“There were some tough holes on the back nine. The 15th was driveable on Thursday but played really tough today and the 14th was an absolute brute.
“I managed to keep my score thanks to a good short game and some good putting.
“Being able to hang on to your card coming in is not easy.”
Rose tasted victory at the Quicken Loans National a fortnight ago and the 33-year-old looks capable of making a surge for the trophy this weekend.
He added: “I have been feeling good for a while but once you get across the finishing line and get a win it gives you that extra bit of confidence.
“There are a lot of big tournaments to be played in the next couple of months. Winning when I did gave me a good boost of confidence and I want to keep it rolling.”