A friend's life-threatening illness has put golf into perspective for Sergio Garcia.
Still waiting for his first major title after finishing joint third in the US Open Garcia spoke afterwards about his changed attitude.
"I have a friend that is only 24 and he's got lung cancer," said the 25-year-old Spaniard. "To see those things really wakes you up.
"You don't want to make a bogey, but it makes you realise it's really not that bad. You're still trying your hardest and that's what I did."
Garcia, who was the leading European at Pinehurst, was told by caddie Glen Murray that mentally it was the best he had seen him in a major in their time together.
"That's nice. I guess you learn. It's the way you handle things, the way you focus, the way you approach the game.
"I'm happy with the way things have been going. You've got to take things the right way. If you do you get rewards. If you don't get so uptight sometimes it's better." A third round 75 was Garcia's undoing, leaving him too much ground to make up on a course yielding so few birdies.
His closing 70 was only one off the low score of the day, but two of the players who shot 69 were winner Michael Campbell and second-placed Tiger Woods.
The world No 1 described the greens as having "some of the most difficult pins I've ever seen." That still compared favourably, of course, to world No 5 Retief Goosen and Britain's Lee Westwood and Luke Donald. They closed with 81, 79 and 80 respectively.
Defending champion Goosen saw Ernie Els shoot 80 on the last day a year ago and said: "It was my turn this year. I played rubbish, but this is nothing serious - nobody has died.
"I was trying all the way, but from the second hole onward I got on the wrong side of the course and got bitten. I threw this away, but I will be back."
Three clear with a round to play, the South African looked odds-on to make a successful defence of the title and claim his third victory in five years.
But Goosen crashed to an 81 and ended up in a share for 11th place while playing partner Jason Gore, 818th in the world and facing the biggest day of his life, collapsed to an 84.
"On the 16th I said at least we've got to try and play for something," revealed Goosen. "Unfortunately, he messed up on the last (with a double bogey to Goosen's par) and I won the five bucks."