"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.
14. Dezember 2018
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|Lipsky hits the front at Leopard Creek|
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|Titmus strikes gold again as world records tumble in Hangzhou|
|Malinga to captain Sri Lanka in New Zealand|
|Rivaldo would like ´excellent´ Isco at Barcelona|
|United a long way from Mourinho´s vision|
|´Klopp denies an answer!´ - Liverpool boss dismisses questions about ´world-class´ Pogba|
|Returning Nowitzki ´so tired´ after making NBA history|
|Aguero and De Bruyne in contention for Manchester City v Everton|
|Simeone has no plans to cash in on Costa|
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|Fabregas: Chelsea being unfairly scapegoated over racism allegations|
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|Hope cannot inspire Windies as Bangladesh cruise to series win|
|Benitez picks up Premier League Manager of the Month award|
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|Bale set to miss Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano|
|Robben out until January as Bayern look to avoid serious injury|
|Milan avoid UEFA ban in FFP punishments.|
|Mourinho compares Liverpool to ´an amazing house´ but insists trophies matter|
|Brisbane Roar 2 Melbourne Victory 4: Muscat´s men hit A-League summit|
|Bumrah confident second Test is ´in the balance´ after India recovery|
|Isco gesture was for a corner or foul, claims Solari|
|Harris leads Australia into ascendancy on day one|
|ATP announces candidates to host future Finals|
|Ronaldo: Juventus fans refuse to lose to Torino|
|Hero Rivers feared he had cost Chargers in KC|
|Williams would welcome Llorente back to Athletic Bilbao|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Minding the gap|
|Milan elimination unjust, fumes Leonardo|
|Paul hails ´sick´ Harden after record-breaking display|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Salah, Mane and Firmino v Rashford, Martial and Lukaku in Opta number|
|Canelo open to GGG trilogy as he chases place in Mexican history|
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|Harden posts record fourth 50-point triple-double in win over Lakers|
|Barcelona squad happy with Dembele, says Alba|
|Chargers rally past Chiefs to clinch playoff spot|
|WATCH: Chargers top Chiefs on dramatic two-point conversion in final seconds|
|Suns owner Sarver committed to keeping team in Phoenix|
|Chargers WR Allen leaves with injury after near-spectacular catch|
|Socceroos not giving up on Mooy for Asian Cup|
|Cooper says Raiders owner wanted to trade him to Cowboys|
|Pochettino jokes Levy is ´worried´ about losing him|
|Barcelona would welcome Morata – Alba|
|Toure not a priority for West Ham – Pellegrini|
|Koscielny no certainty to face Southampton, says Emery|
|We gifted the game – AC Milan boss Gattuso furious after Europa League exit|
|My season starts now, says Koscielny|
|Cipriani ´at peace´ with latest England snub|
|Laporte: Deschamps must have personal reasons for France snub|
13. Dezember 2018
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|Hansen to leave: All Blacks coach returning focus to World Cup defence|
|I want to fight the champion! - Joshua reiterates Wilder in April ambition|
|Gundogan glad to leave Christmas holidays behind|
|I know how it feels and it hurts - Gundogan on Sterling abuse|
|Celtic 1 Red Bull Salzburg 2: Scottish champions through despite defeat|
|Olympiacos 3 AC Milan 1: Rossoneri crash out of Europa League|
|Arsenal 1 Qarabag 0: Lacazette on target as Saka shines|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks will take time to name replacement|
|Chelsea condemn alleged anti-Semitic chanting from fans|
|Hansen to leave: The best Opta facts from New Zealand coach´s tenure|
|Hansen to leave: Five contenders to be the next All Blacks coach|
|Hansen to leave: Highs and highs of his All Blacks reign|