Long before Jordan Spieth was burdened by constant attention, he had acquainted himself with lofty ambition.
Justin Rose may feel St Andrews owes him one, even though he does not quite admit that Open Championships at the home of golf are his bogey events.
Life around Phil Mickelson has seldom been dull and last week was no exception when the five-times major winner featured in reports linking him to an illegal gambling operation.
If the appearance of a golfing simulator in Jordan Spieth’s home would only seem to endorse the trappings of a lavish lifestyle, it may also be the key to Open Championship happiness.
Regardless of whether or not Rory McIlroy defies general opinion – as, to be fair, he has made something of a habit – to appear at the Open, the story of this year’s tournament at St Andrews has already been altered.
Golfers are uneasy with the concept of rivalry in the 21st century. This partly arises from modesty with regard to the epic clashes of yesteryear; could Palmer v Nicklaus or Snead v Hogan, for example, ever find a reasonable comparison?
Billy Horschel has expressed regret after letting frustrations get the better of him at the US Open to the extent he stopped narrowly short of embedding his putter into a green.
When caddies and fellow players call him the golden child, it is partly in jest.
Rory McIlroy was still 16 years from being born the last time the final round of a US Open began with a four-way tie. And yet, somehow, the world No1 summoned the spirit of 1973 on Sunday at Chambers Bay.
It would take something extraordinary for Rory McIlroy to claim the victory he arrived at Chambers Bay in pursuit of.
Tiger Woods produced his best competitive round for two years on Thursday on the first day of the Wyndham Championship at a soggy Sedgefield course in Greensboro, where he shot a six-under-par 64, two off the first round lead.
It is now 29 years since Jack Nicklaus, then 46, won at Augusta National.
The last major of the golfing year is routinely the most exciting. Just because the US PGA Championship lacks the history of the Open or the allure of Augusta National, its compelling nature should not be understated. So it has proven again on the banks of Lake Michigan.
This cannot have been the scene Rory McIlroy dreamt of when ploughing through five weeks of tiresome recuperation from a snapped ankle ligament. Standing in Lake Michigan, right trouser leg rolled up, attempting to save par on the 5th hole at Whistling Straits. Hardly glamorous stuff.
Carnoustie 1999, Turnberry 2009, Whistling Straits 2010.
A football match with friends may have cost Rory McIlroy the chance to defend the Open Championship but he has firmly dismissed any suggestion of halting extra-curricular activities to protect his golf career.
Beware the golfer with a point to prove, let alone one who has already won two major championships in 2015.
The most stark warning yet regarding the challenges Rory McIlroy will encounter on his return to action at the US PGA Championship has arrived from Tiger Woods.
Concern relating to participation in golf is at odds with a recurring sense of theatre attached to the sport’s top level. Joined-up thinking might even explore opportunities to link the two.
Whether through external pressure, charity commitments or basic matters of technicality, Rory McIlroy’s Irish Open trouble will linger for another year as he missed the cut.