Beware the injured golfer? Forget that old adage. It’s the retired golfer you have to be wary of.

With Andy Murray’s hip troubles getting the kind of global attention that the pelvic thrusts of Elvis used to generate, Peter Whiteford’s problems in that similar area of the body have not garnered quite as much coverage. The aches and pains have been equally as debilitating, however, to the point where the canny Fifer called time on his touring career.

Yesterday, he was back in the swing at Gullane as he marked his 200th European Tour event, but a first since 2016, by finishing in the upper echelons of the leaderboard after round one of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

While Luke List of the US assumed command at the top with a seven-under 63, Whiteford’s spirited five-under 65 caught the eye. It even led to an interview in front of the cameras. “It’s been a long, long time since I was on the telly,” he said with a smile. “My mouth was as dry as anything.”

Having progressed through the event’s qualifying shoot-out at nearby Longniddry last weekend, Whiteford, who is now doing his PGA training and working as an assistant at Linlithgow Golf Club, revelled in his return to the big time. The old routine is hard to shake off.

“As much as I enjoy working at Linlithgow, any professional athlete who stops misses the buzz, the adrenaline and all the rest that comes with it,” said Whiteford who had two seconds and a third on the main circuit down the seasons during a career of ups and downs.

“That’s the bit I found hard to deal with when I finished playing. The lifestyle of a golfer is different to a bog standard life. It’s a great life. It’s hard at times obviously and I’ve seen the good times and the bad times as a professional. So I loved every second of this.”

A birdie on the first settled the early jitters but after another gain on the second, the 37-year-old dropped back to par with a brace of bogeys. Whiteford responded with vigour and birdied five of his next eight holes to surge up the standings. Hip hip hooray and all that.

“I have an old man’s hips,” he added of his bothersome bits. “The hip has been deteriorating over the last wee while. It’s the same injury Andy Murray had basically, so there is treatment. You can get it done pretty quickly but it’s quite expensive.

“And there are no guarantees I would get back on the tour. I have a family to support, so financially that is the reason why I stopped. I’m not looking for sympathy. There are guys with worse injuries than me that probably had the courage to carry on.”

Whiteford enjoyed his day. Plenty of others did to as Gullane yielded plenty of opportunities to make gains but still provided enough mischief and menace, particularly on the inward half.

Until List emerged late in the day, the top of the leaderboard was as packed as an overweight suitcase as a raft of players finished on the six-under mark.

Rickie Fowler, the champion here in East Lothian back in 2015, swiftly reacquainted himself with the links and birdied three of his first four holes before rolling in a putt of some 20-feet on the sixth for an eagle.

“You had to take advantage of it early on and that made it a lot easier to hold on or try to get something extra on the way in,” said Fowler, who leaked his only shot of the day on the 13th having got to seven-under with back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12.

Scott Fernandez, the Spaniard with a granny from Glasgow, hoisted himself into the upper reaches with a 64 which was illuminated by an eagle on the second and three birdies in his last four holes while Robert Rock, Jens Dantorp and Lee Westwood also joined the log jam on six-under.

It looked like Patrick Reed, the Masters champion, would thunder away from that particular pack, though, as he launched the kind of fearsome charge that could have been performed with a fixed bayonet.

The rousing Reed birdied five holes in a row from the second with his gain on the sixth being particularly impressive as he dug himself out of the tricky pot bunker with an effort to within four feet. When he picked up another shot on the ninth, Reed had raced to the turn in just 29 blows.

Gullane was not going to wilt under the salvo, though, and when Reed’s putter went cold on the back nine, he failed to make any more advances and he slipped back with a bogey on the 16th in a 65.

List, beaten to the Honda Classic title in a play-off by Justin Thomas earlier this season, hadn’t played any links golf for 12 years.

It’s safe to say yesterday’s nine-birdie 63 was a slightly better experience than the 19 ½ - 4 ½ trouncing he suffered as part of a US team in the Palmer Cup at Prestwick back in 2006. “We got whacked pretty good,” he said of that anguish in Ayrshire.

Richie Ramsay and a weary Russell Knox both posted 66s. “The energy levels are dreadful but I’d rather be tired and playing well than tired and playing crap,” said Knox of the exertions of a full on fortnight.