GULLANE, SCOTLAND: Thongchai Jaidee had to make a quick U-turn from London back to Edinburgh on Friday night after thinking that he had missed the halfway cut at the British Open.
The 43-year-old Thai was a long way from the cut-off mark but managed to make the grade right on the bubble - 150 - when players struggled with the tough conditions at Muirfield.
"I flew to London after my round yesterday [Friday]. I thought I missed the halfway cut! Luckily the flight to Thailand was full and I was on the waiting list," he said.
"We [with Thaworn Wiratchant] reached London at around 7pm and waited for the counter to open to try and get a flight.
"At about 8:45pm I was told that I had a seat in business class and I thought 'Wow, I'm lucky'. Then my manager called me and told me that I had a good chance to make the cut. That was five minutes before I went to collect my ticket.
"Shortly after that, my manager called me again and told me that I made the cut and I had to fly back to Edinburgh. I had one hour and 15 minutes to get from Terminal Three to Terminal Five so I had rush to catch the flight.
"It was an amazing experience for me. This is the first time in my life that this has happened to me but it was quite fun."
His adventure paid dividends when he returned with a third round score of even-par 71 for an eight-over 221, a solid effort which was marred by two triple bogeys in the opening round.
"After my round [on Friday], I thought the cut would be at six-over," he said.
"When I left the cut line was still at about three or four-over. I thought it was impossible to make the cut. I didn't watch the live scoring at all. I've been travelling for seven weeks in a row so I was a bit tired and thinking of going home to see my family.
"Despite what happened, I feel good. It was fun. I stuck to my game plan and like yesterday, I missed only one fairway. I hit a lot of good putts and shots. I think even-par is a good score. My game is getting a little bit better and I'm looking forward to the last round."
Thaworn Wiratchant and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, the other Thais at this year's Open, missed the cut on Friday with Thaworn shooting a 77 for 156 and Kiradech soaring to a 14-over 85 for 157.
Kiradech enjoyed a bittersweet experience in his major debut. The burly Thai, who leads on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, hit a solid opening-round 72 but struggled to keep his emotions in check on the second day when he shot a triple bogey on the first hole.
"I had a bad start and I lost confidence there. I couldn't control my ball in the wind and I couldn't focus on my game," said a dejected Kiradech, who totalled 15-over 157.
"When I made the mistake on the first hole, I lost my confidence. I tried to calm down and my caddy tried to put me in the right frame of mind. But my game pulled me back. My approach shots, driver and putting just didn't work.".
The 23-year-old said the Muirfield experience could help him win the Asian Tour's money title at the end of the season.
If he wins the Merit crown, Kiradech will automatically earn a ticket to the 2014 British Open.
"I plan to play in some Asian Tour events and try to win the Order of Merit. That will get me back to the Open again next year," Kiradech said.
"I'm still young and I'll admit that I don't have much experience of playing in these big events yet. I might have missed the cut but I'm proud to have played in my first major."