Matthew Baldwin blamed his putting for not making more of a third round move at the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The Southport golfer signed for a one-under 69, but he knows that it could have been so much better.
"Tee to green it was fantastic, the best I've played, but I was poor on the greens again," he told BBC Radio Merseyside."
While Baldwin stands one over, Lee Slattery is five back after a 75.
Suffering from a headache all the way round, Slattery was clearly not at his best right from the off, dropping shots at the second and third.
A birdie at the fourth gave him hope, but a double bogey at the sixth was followed by two more dropped shots on the back nine at 12 and 15.
While he stands at six over, his Southport colleague Baldwin is still hoping that he can finish much higher up the leaderboard on Sunday - if he can get his putting stroke working.
"I'm going off to hit some putts now to work on it," added Baldwin.
"But the trouble is I can hole 100 from six feet on the bounce on the practice green and wonder what the fuss is all about and then I'll go on the first tomorrow and miss one."
That was just how it happened in Saturday's third round.
Resuming on two over, Baldwin made a poor start when he missed a short putt to bogey the par-three first.
But he got that shot back immediately with a birdie at the second, added another at the seventh, then went to two under for his round with a third birdie at the 13th.
Baldwin then finished badly, when his approach drifted left at 18. He undercooked the borrow on his first putt and ended up missing the one back from five feet to drop back to one under for his round and one over for the championship.
"I'm just disappointed with how I'm putting as it was a good round which should have been lot better," he added.
"But I gave myself a target of six under at the weekend and I'll still be doing my best to achieve that."