"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.
20. Oktober 2018
|Butler booed by Timberwolves fans during introductions|
|Pochettino: Dier´s Ramos tackle highlighted Spurs´ attitude|
|Man City working on new deal for Sane – Guardiola|
|Golden Knights sign RW Tuch to seven-year extension|
|Bryant explains how Lakers could beat Warriors|
|Finals hopefuls Isner, Fognini into Stockholm semis|
|Browns trade running back Hyde to Jaguars|
|Mourinho: I´d love to have Hazard at Manchester United|
|Hamilton´s title chances enhanced by Vettel´s grid penalty|
19. Oktober 2018
|Deja vu for Enisei as La Rochelle inflict another thrashing|
|Five-star Jovic makes Bundesliga history|
|Liverpool´s scoring slump no concern for cautious Klopp|
|He´s the Special One - Sarri insists he is not on Mourinho´s level yet|
|Second-half blitz guides Leicester to European success|
|Sheffield Wednesday 1 Middlesbrough 2: Besic, Assombalonga see off Owls|
|Goerges rallies to reach Luxembourg Open final, Jabeur makes history|
|Howe: Transfer speculation will not disrupt Ake|
|´Do we really want opera every night?´ - Klopp not changing Nations League view|
|Vile and abhorrent – Chelsea´s Carney responds to online abuse|
|Giants WR Beckham Jr. explains why he might cramp up: ´I really don´t like water´|
|Man City pay training-pitch tribute to Joe Hart|
|Neymar to be rested as Tuchel rubbishes Ballon d´Or concerns|
|Sarri ´not interested´ in Christensen father´s quit threat|
|Cardinals fire offensive coordinator McCoy after 1-6 start|
|Neymar return unlikely, but anything can happen – Valverde|
|Bairstow a doubt for fourth ODI|
|Manchester United fined for late arrival and delayed kick-off against Valencia|
|Australia-Pakistan chat not ´especially polite´ - Sarfraz|
|Pogba relishing ´pressure game´ against in-form Hazard|
|Don´t bet on Cardiff survival, warns Warnock|
|Buffon enjoying Tuchel´s methods at PSG|
|RIP to Wimbledon epics! Isner feels like The Undertaker following final-set tie-break rule|
|Sevilla performance sealed Bernat´s Bayern exit - Hoeness|
|Keita set to miss out as Liverpool monitor injured stars|
|He didn´t want to be here – Guardiola doubts Sancho will return to Manchester City|
|Sarri: Manchester United are the best in the Premier League|
|Mourinho salutes ´brave´ Shaw for ´best possible´ response to criticism|
|No Ballon d´Or distractions for Griezmann, insists Simeone|
|Wigan stand by Hardaker as full-back prepares to undergo rehabilitation|
|Barcelona deny Neymar talk|
|Hazard can win the Ballon d´Or as a Chelsea player, insists Sarri|
|De Bruyne in contention to start in Manchester City´s clash with Burnley|
|Neymar needs to mature to reach Messi levels - Xavi|
|We have a hell of a lot to do - Paine slams Australia batting|
|Kerber and Osaka to meet at WTA Finals|
|Lorenzo out of Japanese MotoGP|
|Real Madrid handed Africa trip in Copa del Rey|
|Allegri: Ronaldo has sharpened Juventus focus|
|No Wade in Wasps squad amid NFL reports|
|Rooney: Five of us controlled Man United dressing room|
|Bayern bosses launch scathing attack on ´disrespectful´ media|
|Saints lock in Lawes to new deal|
|Adelaide United 1 Sydney 1: Debutant Le Fondre rescues a point|
|Madrid can´t look back, only forward - Lopetegui confident of revival|
|Wimbledon to introduce final-set tie-breaks|
|Abbas inspires Pakistan to series victory|
|Madrid boss Lopetegui hopeful on Bale availability|
|Mood is positive at Bayern, insists under-pressure Kovac|
|LeBron offers food for thought after losing Lakers debut|
|Bolt future not an immediate concern for Mariners|
|Hazard: I could finish my career at Chelsea|
|Buffon hoping to avoid Champions League final against Juventus|
|Wilshere not ready for West Ham return|
|Chelsea v Manchester United: Hazard better under Sarri than he ever was with Mourinho|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Khawaja suffers meniscal tear, doubt for India series|
|Babbel: Klopp must win trophies now at Liverpool|
|LeBron makes spectacular start on Lakers debut, but LA fall to Trail Blazers|
|Broncos thrash Cardinals to end losing streak|
|Price leads Red Sox past Astros and into World Series|