"It possibly makes golf harder," said Padraig Harrington when reflecting on the counter-intuitive notion of the potential downsides of winning a major.
It seems odd to conceive of the idea that the game of golf, punishing as it so often is, would be made harder by the very act of demonstrating how good you are at it.
But that was the inescapable truth for the Irishman when he triumphed at the 2007 Open, when the oldest major last visited Carnoustie, host of this week's 147th edition.
Harrington got the better of Sergio Garcia in a play-off and it was the catalyst for a 13-month spell that yielded three majors, an impressive Open defence preceding victory at the 2008 US PGA Championship. The Spaniard came second there, too.
In this sport, however, Newton's Third Law finds itself readily substantiated - for all the positive consequences of Harrington's success came the equal and opposite negative reaction.
The game he might presume to have cracked got even more difficult.
"When you've won majors, you're trying to live up to that, and I've watched from the outside with so many other players and said, well, I'm not going to make that mistake, but it seems to be inevitable for people that, when they win a major, it's just hard to keep that momentum," Harrington confessed when he spoke at Carnoustie on Monday.
"So, yes, you change as a person, there's no doubt, in terms of your golf. For me, it was certainly a peak in my career."
What an awesome new jacket, the members of Augusta National GC gave me tonight, don't you think? pic.twitter.com/grvu8ZIhi6— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) April 10, 2017
At the time of his agony in Angus, Garcia's reputation as a nearly man was already well established, with 12 top-10 finishes at majors under his belt, but no green jacket, Claret Jug or any other sacred prize to assuage his pain.
Garcia had a putt to win that 2007 tournament, but it lipped out and he and lost in his duel with Harrington over four holes. He would have to wait another 10 years before his Masters success.
In that intervening period, though, Garcia accumulated another nine top-10 finishes at one of the four headline events, while Harrington became far more familiar with missing the cut.
Harrington's relatively brief time at the top gives his CV a lopsided look and, again, Newton is vindicated - the forceful and merited reaction to any mention of the Dubliner's trio of triumphs is always, 'what has he done since then?'.
He knows it, too.
"It would have been a lot smoother in my career if I win a major every five years," he said.
"If I won one in 2007, 2012, 2017, that would have been a lot simpler on my golfing career.
"But it still goes down at three wins, and it always will."
He adds, almost by way of an afterthought: "...unless I make it to four."
It serves as a cautionary tale for Garcia, who looks to be proving Harrington's assertion correct. Since his win at Augusta last year, Garcia's major record reads T21, T37, CUT, CUT, CUT.
Golf got harder.
|Dominant Svitolina ends Kvitova hoodoo in Singapore|
|Pereira warns Juventus to expect ´pumped up´ Manchester United|
|D´Antoni backs NBA to ´sort out´ Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Mixed feelings for champion Marquez after Dovizioso crash|
|Bolt offered contract by Central Coast Mariners|
|Anthony accuses Rondo of spitting after Lakers-Rockets brawl|
|Martial insists he has good relationship with Mourinho|
|Bautista to replace Lorenzo at Phillip Island|
|Emery wanted Lacazette at Paris Saint-Germain|
|Wallabies centre Hodge suffers fractured ankle|
|Koepka claims top ranking with CJ Cup win|
|Dramatic Dovizioso crash gifts Marquez MotoGP title in Japan|
|LeBron´s home debut ends in defeat, Walker makes NBA history|
|Rondo, Ingram and Paul exchange punches in Lakers-Rockets clash|
|Dodgers to face Red Sox in World Series after beating Brewers|
|Valverde doesn´t care about extending Barca contract|
|Qualifying speed a ´positive surprise´ for Ferrari´s Vettel|
|I was in a different headspace – Hamilton revels in Austin pole|
|Barcelona can cope without Messi – Pique|
|Allegri: Juventus abandoned Genoa clash|
|Sale: Hospital visit was because of belly button ring|
|Valverde accepts Barcelona will miss Messi|
|No Messi or Ronaldo in El Clasico for first time since 2007|
|Barcelona have not won a Clasico without Messi since his debut|
|Ramos calls for Real Madrid unity after latest loss piles pressure on Lopetegui|
|Hamilton has title in sights after storming to Austin pole|
|Inter, El Clasico and more - the games Messi will miss with broken arm|
|End of Messi-Ronaldo duel good for LaLiga - Simeone|
|Messi out of Clasico with fractured arm|
|Awesome Ashton marks Sale bow with hat-trick|
|Klopp hopes for positive Henderson prognosis amid Liverpool injury issues|
|Benitez ´convinced´ Newcastle can survive despite seventh defeat|
|Barcelona 4 Sevilla 2: Messi injured but champions go top|
|Kovac relieved by Bayern´s timely victory|
|Strasbourg 2 Monaco 1: Sy howler and Grandsir red card cost Henry in first match|
|Leicester City defender Chilwell signs new six-year contract|
|PSG´s Tuchel hopes Verratti and Di Maria can face Napoli|
|Liverpool star Salah had no fear during scoring drought|
|Alonso´s 2019 plans not damaged by McLaren´s IndyCar decision|
|Edinburgh outclass troubled Toulon, Wasps and Bath play out thrilling draw|
|Barca concern as Messi substituted with worrying arm injury|
|Howe: South coast derby draw a fair result|
|Our heads were in Manchester – Allegri left fuming at Juventus´ loss of focus|
|Derby County 2 Sheffield United 1: Marriott blunts Blades with 77th-minute winner|
|We have so many problems – Jokanovic alarmed by Fulham defensive woes|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Liverpool 1: Salah snaps winless streak|
|Pellegrini ruing injuries after Yarmolenko hurts ankle|
|Villarreal 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Simeone´s side denied LaLiga top spot|
|Gracia: Not easy to dominate Wolves like that|
|Isner´s Finals hopes hindered by Stockholm defeat|
|Dyche incredulous at refereeing decisions in Man City thrashing|
|Juventus 1 Genoa 1: Champions´ winning run ends despite record Ronaldo goal|
|´Fantastic´ Lamela urged to find consistency by Pochettino|
|You don´t want to lose any players - Young speaks out on Wade NFL speculation|
|Championship Review: Smith gets off to a winning start, Leeds beaten|
|Guardiola hails extraordinary Fernandinho after Burnley drubbing|
|Pochettino lauds Lloris as one of world´s best after West Ham heroics|
|Paris Saint-Germain 5 Amiens 0: Ten wins in a row for PSG as Neymar rests|
|Cristiano Ronaldo nets record 400th league goal|
|Marcelo backing beleaguered Lopetegui despite Madrid slump|
|Garcia dazzles to hit the front at shortened Valderrama Masters|
|Cardiff City 4 Fulham 2: Paterson gets Bluebirds off the mark|
|Newcastle United 0 Brighton and Hove Albion 1: Benitez´s men bottom after dismal defeat|
|West Ham 0 Tottenham 1: In-form Lamela settles London derby|
|Manchester City 5 Burnley 0: De Bruyne returns in comfortable win|
|Wolves 0 Watford 2: Capoue and Pereyra turn form book on its head|
|Bournemouth 0 Southampton 0: Howe´s side stifled by Saints|
|Prove you´re crazy about Inter - Spalletti rallies players ahead of Milan derby|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 3: Lewandowski leads Kovac out of trouble|
|Goerges betters Bencic to clinch Luxembourg title|