Padraig Harrington admitted he was "at sixes and sevens" with his game despite managing a level-par 70 in the third round of the Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
The two-time champion, playing with Rory McIlroy for the first time in a major, pulled off a series of par saves and carded his second birdie of the day at 17 to get under the card for the round.
But the Irishman bogeyed the last for the second day running to return to two over for the tournament, and he conceded that his score could have been a lot worse.
"The 70 was a steal - and 69 would have been a miracle. I was really at sixes and sevens with my game," he said.
"It was a big struggle. I didn't show much trust, faith or confidence in anything out there, so it was nice that my short game saved me.
"The first two rounds I just didn't hit my wedges very well. I was sorting that problem out and it certainly got in my head. I wasn't settling on any good thoughts."
McIlroy also admitted to lacking confidence as he posted a 73 to drop to five over, and Harrington added: "Rory was looking for a fast start and he didn't get it.
"Things went against him. It's not much fun when you're two or three over par and you're looking to be four, five, six under."