"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.
21. August 2018
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|Kombouare signs new two-year Guingamp contract|
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|Manchester United´s Sanchez will ´be back soon´|
|Former Giants star Cruz announces retirement|
|RFU set Cipriani disciplinary date despite RPA complaints|
|Spalletti fined €10,000 for ´gravely offensive´ referee comments|
|IndyCar driver Wickens has spinal surgery after Pocono crash|
|Tiger: No doubt this is one of my best years|
|Vice-captain Tiger trying to remain objective in Ryder Cup conversations|
|Ronaldo won´t win Serie A by himself, warns Allan|
|Moeen sends message to England selectors with double century|
|Brunt calls time on Northern Ireland career|
|Tottenham´s Janssen sidelined after foot surgery|
|Liu Xiang breaks women´s 50m backstroke world record at Asian Games|
|Atletico Madrid winger Vitolo suffers knee ligament damage|
|Leverkusen teen Havertz aiming to emulate idol Ozil|
|Beckham to be honoured with UEFA President´s Award|
|CPS drops Hillsborough charges against Bettison|
|Who can take over from Federer, Nadal & Djokovic? Agassi backs Zverev, Kyrgios|
|´Freak incident´ rules Dragons´ Vaughan out for season|
|Kompany: Different Manchester City must not be complacent|
|Toyota withdraw appeal over Alonso´s Silverstone disqualification|
|Manchester City offload defender Denayer to Lyon|
|RPA want RFU to drop Cipriani charge|
|Cheika still the right man for Australia - Polota-Nau|
|Bolt not giving up on Manchester United dream|
|All Blacks must improve ´average´ set-piece, says Smith|
|Raiola hits back at Scholes following Pogba criticism|
|Indians top Red Sox in series opener|
|Struff stuns Cecchinato, Jarry reaches last 16|
|I´ll prove people wrong - Bolt completes first Mariners training session|
|Former champ Kvitova tops Radwanska, Pliskova ousted|
|Sad if it´s Filipe Luis´ last game for Atletico - Oblak|
|White Sox manager Rick Renteria hospitalised before game|
|Carragher: Van Dijk can become Liverpool legend|
|No timetable for Sale return from shoulder injury|
|This is a partnership - Rodgers on contract negotiations with Packers|
|Eagles QB Wentz unsure he´ll be cleared to play opener|
|Balotelli staying at Nice|
|It wasn´t a penalty, says Hodgson as Palace boss fumes at refereeing decisions|
|Salah can play much better - Klopp demands more from Liverpool star|
|Gasly to Red Bull: Vettel, Verstappen and the drivers who took their Toro Rosso chance|
|Klopp in the dark on Karius future amid links to Besiktas|
|Simeone pleased with draw after rigours of Super Cup|
20. August 2018
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|I couldn´t care less - Klopp rejects title challenge talk|
|Ailing Bairstow keen to aid England´s unlikely victory bid at Trent Bridge|
|Redskins secure Peterson signing|
|Manchester City goalkeeper Bravo suffers ruptured Achilles|
|Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 2: Milner and Mane secure victory at Selhurst Park|
|Whyte takes aim at ´coward´ Fury ahead of Wilder showdown|
|Jets delighted with Darnold, open to trading Bridgewater|
|Gasly to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull|
|Valencia 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Rodrigo strikes to deny Simeone´s side|
|Injured Halep withdraws from Connecticut Open|
|Cipriani fined £2,000 by Gloucester|
|Mourinho will be sacked before Christmas, says Sharpe|
|England face record chase after Kohli smashes India to huge lead|
|Ozil captaining Arsenal a miracle - Hoeness|
|Japan players apologise for ´thoughtless, careless´ actions at Asian Games|
|Henry wants Bordeaux job, Wenger confirms|
|Pogba too inconsistent and not a leader, claims Scholes|