It is not unusual to lose a grip on a challenging score in the Open Championship, especially at St Andrews.
But to do so twice, as Steve Webster did, is to risk a charge of carelessness.
On Thursday, the Atherstone golfer, returned the tournament's best front nine. He was to the turn in 30, six under par and level with the leader, Tiger Woods, but due to a spot of bunker trouble on the home stretch, gave five shots back.
But he kept his calm, returned a steadying par round on Friday and on Saturday he attacked again.
Webster birdied the fifth, as does almost everyone, then had four birdies in five holes from the ninth. He was five under. He was a contender again.
Then on the 14th he drove out of bounds, took seven and when he three-putted the 18th, he was just another member of the lower order of the field.
It was, of course, greatly to his credit that he was in a position to challenge twice.
Many a golfer would have been demoralised by that first-round collapse. So what motivation could he muster for yesterday?
"I wanted to finish under par and I did that," he said.
He went round in 73 and was one under for the tournament. He said he's been " useless" yesterday but he didn't mean it. "I just didn't get it going but I think I've played well all week."
And he had finished with a flourish, with a birdie at the last.
His week had been " brilliant" and he had relished the atmosphere that had been generated by the Jack Nicklaus farewell. He'd even got the great man's autograph.
All in all, it had been a memorable Open for Webster if not, in eventual scoring terms, exceptional. Does his career now go up a notch?
"Definitely," he said. "It proves that I score on championship courses."
So what about Ian Woosnam's remark at the Forest of Arden in May, that he would be very keen on having Webster in his Ryder Cup squad? Was that a target?
Again: "Definitely. I know I can compete with the players who are here this week. If I didn't, I shouldn't be here."
In four previous Open Championships, two of them at St Andrews, John Bickerton had never played beyond the second round. This year at the Old Course he was looking at a four-round total below par.
When he birdied the 14th yesterday, a hole that has bothered the best, he was two under and well in control.
The 15th was a calamity. The Droitwich golfer drove into a pot bunker, was forced to play out sideways and there was his profit, gone. Level par was the consolation target.
When he drove into the Valley at the last, something better than that was in prospect. But Bickerton's first putt from the right swung across the front of the green and disappeared into the left of the trench.
His second putt was short, he missed with his third and, he said: "I was left with a horrible little tap-in." Which he made with his fourth putt.
Having started the day level-Bickerton (73) finished it a relatively disappointing one over. "One over's no disgrace," he insisted. "I played solidly today but the breeze is making it very difficult and the pins are a real test."
The par-five holes had cost him; he was three shots in the red over the four days. But it had been a "fantastic" week.
"It's been a real pleasure playing in Jack Nicklaus's last Open and the atmosphere here has been great."
It is his ambition now to qualify for next year's Open at Hoylake where he has not played since he was an amateur. And to make the cut again, of course.
When Robert Rock began making a name for himself two years ago - he won a Tour card from just seven invitations - he sounded a serious lament: he couldn't chip and he wasn't an exceptional putter, either.
He cured those deficiencies through sheer hard work and, when he'd finished his first Open Championship yesterday, when asked what his main achievements were, he replied: "I've proved that my chipping and putting is good enough at this level."
Then he added: "But the rest of my game isn't.
"I've enjoyed today, I've enjoyed playing with a man of Justin Leonard's class, an Open winner. But my game was poor again."
He was in at level par 72 and he finished three over par overall.
"I've put my short game right but I've destroyed everything else. I'm just so wild off the tee."
Rock had gone to the turn in a decent 34 and was looking for an under-par round when he came to the 14th. And trying to steer his drive into a safe position, he put a hook on it and lost his ball.
"The spotters missed it; I had hit my ball to the one place on the course where there were no spectators. I made a good bogey with my second ball but that mistake really upset things."
He hit a "terrible" second to the 16th, found the dreaded road bunker on the 17th but having driven level with the pin at the last, and sent in a clever first putt, he walked in with a birdie to add to those he had forced on the first, the fifth and the ninth.
Now he's off to play in the Midland Masters and a proam at Bloxwich.
Having lost his card last season, there are no invites in the offing although he could get into the Swedish Open, the Russian Open and at Gleneagles. And he's going to continue working on his long game.
"I'm practising really hard as it is; I can't do more. But you can't tell what you'll be like until you tee up in something big."
Which is his objective: to start getting into something big again.