Irish golf supplied proof there is a major championship "ripple effect", one that Luke Donald and his peers hope will now apply to England after Justin Rose's success at Merion last month.
Rose's victory ended a 43-year wait for an English winner of the US Open, with Donald's poor finish costing him the chance. Donald, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter do not have a major win between them despite regular glimpses of promise.
When Padraig Harrington started a brisk run of three major wins in 2007, the Irishman's success seemed to rub off on those in the north of the island. Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke subsequently claimed another four between them up to last year.
"I very much hope there is a ripple effect for the English players and we go on to win more majors, as happened with the Irish," says Donald.
"I'm not sure Justin winning is going to make any difference to how I feel about winning a major but maybe subconsciously there is a little less pressure."
Donald offered a smile when asked if, by rights, he should be England's next major winner. "I hope so. If majors are won by work ethic, by previous accomplishments on your CV and by nice guys then maybe I am next. I've done a decent amount in my career but I'd like to get this done sooner rather than later."
Donald has altered his approach to majors, avoiding competitive action in the preceding days. Instead, he has spent time in East Lothian with friends; Donald carded 63 at North Berwick last week.
"I've come to realise, in the last couple of years, that majors require a different philosophy to be successful in them," Donald says. "You can't just do it through a great short game – the courses are set up too hard. You need good ball striking.
"I've spent more time on the range working on controlling trajectory, spin and direction and I think I am getting closer. I certainly showed that at Merion. Most weeks the best putter wins; majors are an exception. You have to putt better than average which, week-in week-out, I'm going to do but the next step is for me to continue to hit more fairways and more greens at majors.
"It's harder to switch off. You feel different in a major week. You don't sleep as well, your stomach feels different but you just learn to deal with it.
"I have tried different things. At the US Open I stayed with a bunch of caddies and there was a lot of banter. Sometimes that is good, sometimes it is good to be with my family and have the distractions of a three-year-old and one-and-a-half-year-old running around. I try not to carry too much from the course but the feeling is different."
Tiger Woods, of course, once proved the master of that major adjustment. "Tiger is very smart in the way he plays golf courses," adds Donald. "He doesn't put himself in a lot of trouble. If he does miss then he misses in the right place and leaves himself in good positions. He has a good mind for golf. That comes down to good control. He is obviously a master at holing six- to eight-footers, which you need to be if you are going to win multiple majors like he did but when course set-ups become a lot tougher there is a premium on keeping it in the short stuff."
At Merion, Donald never appeared to recover from an end to his third round which saw him drop three shots in two holes. He then slipped to a Sunday 75 and a tie for eighth place.
"I saw my game slipping a little bit near the end of the third round," admits the former world No1.
"I wasn't quite as under control as I wanted to be. That's a trend I've seen in my golf. As the week goes on, I get more into my old mistakes with my swing. Those will show up when you are trying to hit a two iron 230 yards into a small target.
"It is a case of putting in the work to make sure I can do it for four rounds instead of three and to make sure that under pressure the swing is going to stay where I want it."
A master of tense golfing situations was Nick Faldo, a two-times Open winner at Muirfield. Faldo was the last English player, before Rose, to taste major success, in 1996, and won the Open at Muirfield in 1987 and 1992.
"I consulted with him last year, not about Muirfield but about majors," says Donald. "I have talked to Jack Nicklaus and to a few other guys. You don't want to use everything they say – you have to find your own way – but you pick little bits out and try to use them to your advantage."
If the inspiration from compatriots also plays a part, all the better for Donald.
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image: © Keith Allison