When Ben Curtis, an invisible American golfer, won the Open Championship at Royal St George's two years ago, he had a philosophy so innocent that there are those who, to this day, failed to understand it.
"It was my first time playing on a links course so I was just... wherever the ball went, I was just happy to be there," he said.
Similar thoughts returned to Curtis in the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth yesterday and he turned in a four-under-par 68, his best score for a very long time, to stand, along with seven others, a shot behind the tournament leaders Peter Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, both of Ireland, and Jose-Filipe Lima, of Portugal.
Curtis has hardly set the game alight since his triumph in Kent. This season he has earned less than £12,000 in prize money from his trade. He has had, by his own admission, some extreme low points and when he had played at Hilton Head earlier this season he was as far down as it was possible to go.
"I mean... I couldn't hit anything." He had been, in his own words: "p***ed off."
But the process of refocusing had been eased by his work ethic and by lightening up on himself. Royal St George's... "that's the attitude I have to take from now on," he said.
Curtis's four-birdie, oneeagle round was also, in part, down to his liking for Wentworth. At 7,072 yards it's a quarter of a mile shorter than the average championship course and he appreciates the fact that he doesn't have to boom away with his driver all day. It's a thinker's track.
"And I have an appreciation of the European Tour," he said. "They have been very good to me over the past couple of years."
He did think that, while the US Tour leads the world, more Americans might find their way to these shores as the game becomes more globalised.
There are some golfers who are reluctant members of the dawn patrol, those who have to rise at 5am for the early start times. Lawrie is delighted to be among them or, at least, he was yesterday. "Seven o'clock - a great draw," he enthused. "The greens are in perfect condition at that time of the morning and you have to take advantage."
Not that the state of the greens was of any concern to him at the par-four eighth hole. Having hit a three-iron off the tee, he then lashed a sand wedge 124 yards into the hole. And he had six birdies besides.
" A nice low opening round," he said of his 67. "Now I have to try to consolidate."
McDowell was the first man to catch Lawrie and pronounced himself: "pretty content." Then, when he thought about it, he upped his elation to the "shocked to be fiveunder" stage. He had been playing well but it had been some time since he had done any real scoring.
"It's nice to get off the mark well in this Championship. I like Wentworth."
Lima conformed to the old "beware the injured golfer" saw. "I wake up this morning with a big pain on my back and the physio guys do good work for that," he said.
And then he was able to say in his picturesque English: "On the course, everything is perfect for me. Very good round for me. Very happy."
This tournament is famous for the number of unfamous golfers it has thrust to the forefront over the years. This time it's Australian Wade Ormsby, one-time State cricketer in his native Adelaide.
Ormsby, now 25, gave up cricket in favour of golf and had reason to question his judgment when he was on the verge of losing his Tour card last season. But he clung on to it by a few pence and yesterday turned a fairly ordinary round into a dramatic 68.
The Australian birdied four of the last six holes, finishing with a birdie hat-trick from the 16th. "I haven't played here a lot," he said. It was his first tournament round at Wentworth.
Fame, relative fame, that is, came late to Andrew Oldcorn. He was a 41-year-old journeyman pro when he won this tournament in 2001 and now here he is back in the frame with an opening 68.
"Something changes inside me when I come to Wentworth," he said. "Something that has been missing so far this season was there today."
Oldcorn has adored the West Course since he first played it as a 13-year-old potential boy international.
"It's a pure shot-maker's course. It's the kind of course I grew up playing; this is the way I like playing golf.
"I'm delighted with my start. But that's all it is: a start."
Australia's Marcus Fraser, with whom Oldcorn was partnered, finished with three birdies for his 68.
The posse of US-based Europeans who have returned to give this old tournament the respect it deserves, could not find golf as expansive as their gesture.
Ernie Els (Europe-adopted) couldn't even make par.
On a course that he knows better than any other (he has a house on the premises), Els started off waiting for something to happen and hardly anything ever did. He took a shot off the easiest birdie hole on the course - the fourth - and that was it.
Els, who has never won this Championship, finished with 11 consecutive pars.
"I didn't play great but I didn't play terrible," he said.
Greg Owen, from Coxmoor, has been doing very nicely on the US Tour but his strong sense of loyalty has brought him back for the PGA - and what a comeback. Owen walked off the first green with a triple-bogey seven to his name and in that context, 74 was not a terrible score. But he couldn't birdie any of the par-fives.
Luke Donald, these days a citizen of Chicago, was making his trip home worthwhile until he double-bogeyed the 18th and had to settle for a 71.
Nick Faldo had a tidy 70 which meant that he had broken par in his last 16 rounds in this competition.