Graeme McDowell took strength from adversity to card a third-round 69 and put himself in contention for a second Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open title.
The Northern Irishman lifted the trophy in 2008 at Loch Lomond Golf Club but Castle Stuart Golf Links is a very different proposition and it showed both sides of itself on Saturday.
With little wind in the early stages of round three, birdies and eagles were the order of the day before heavy rain moved in making the course far more difficult in the late afternoon.
McDowell is used to links conditions after learning his trade at Rathmore Golf Club in his homeland and he looked more at home in the tougher conditions, turning in 37 but coming back in 32 to sit four shots off the lead held by Alex Noren.
“Sometimes when you go out there and it’s flat calm and you know the golf course is there for the taking, you can’t get it started when you’re trying so hard,” he said.
“I hit some nice shots on the front nine and made nothing and walked off one over par for the nine holes. I guess when the rain came on, I had no frustration left. So I just tried to knuckle down and make some birdies and that little run there on 13, 14 and 15 was pretty sweet and obviously kept me in the golf tournament.
England’s Andy Sullivan is also at eight under after a rollercoaster round containing two eagles, two birdies and two bogeys.
“I’m just massively happy,” he said. “The start of the day I’m thinking we’ve got to go really low because it was so flat calm and the weather was perfect. I was trying to chase it down a little too much on the front nine.
“The weather got poor and I found myself thinking pars are pretty good on the way in.”
Matteo Manassero is two shots ahead at ten under and he will head into Sunday searching for his first victory since 2013 after a dramatic downturn in form last season.
“It was a tough day,” he said. “In the morning it was really nice and then in the late afternoon, it turned into a really difficult day. We are all completely wet. It’s really hard.
“I’m satisfied. I had a good round. I made the chances when I could. It was a good day.