Nobody knows better than Colin Montgomerie right now that if Tiger Woods plays to his potential he wins.
That is the way it was at the Open last month and that is the way Montgomerie, denied his first major title by the world No 1 at St Andrews, thinks it could be when the USPGA Championship starts today at Baltusrol.
"It's like Roger Federer at Wimbledon," said the Scot. "If Tiger does play to his best, he will win - but a lot can happen over four days and you have to be there in case something happens."
Last night, though, Montgomerie was nowhere near Baltusrol. He climbed into his hire car with coach Dennis Pugh and drove 83 miles away.
It was not to seek further treatment on the finger injury which, as a precaution, kept him off the championship course all day, but to take a trip down memory lane.
Twenty years ago, Montgomerie played in the Walker Cup at Pine Valley. "I've not been back since and I just want to take a look at the place again," he explained.
"There'll be no clubs in the car and I won't be hitting any shots. There are a couple of members I know and we'll just take a buggy round. It's nostalgia."
All his supporters will be hoping the 166-mile round trip went without a hitch. Montgomerie tees off at 7.45am in the first round, four groups ahead of Woods.
The seven-time European No 1, 33rd in the 1993 US Open at the course, did not hit a single shot out of heavy rough in his one practice round.
Last Thursday, he pulled out of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles after 13 holes and saw two specialists in London about possible ligament damage to his finger.
The first spoke of surgery and possibly being out until February, but the second came up with a less worrying diagnosis and Montgomerie hopes that a week's rest is enough not to damage his chances.
Asked about how he will approach things when he does stray into the rough, he said: "I will go at it 100 per cent. I'll give it an absolute rip. If it means I then have to stop, then I'll have to stop."
The view that the 7,392-yard par-70 lay-out, with two par-fours over 500 yards and the 650-yard 17th the longest hole ever in majors, means a big-hitter will come out on top is not totally subscribed to by Montgomerie.
"I think it's the players that are going to put the ball in play that are going to win around here," he said.
Woods has the chance to make this arguably the greatest season ever in major terms. He would be the first player ever to win three majors in a year twice and it would be only Michael Campbell at the US Open that denied him a Grand Slam.
It would also take him on to 11 majors, tied second in the all-time list with Walter Hagen. That would still be seven behind Jack Nicklaus, but since he does not turn 30 until December, he is already ahead of schedule in that pursuit.
Bookmakers Ladbroke's yesterday received a £25,000 bet at 5-1 from a Lanarkshire customer on Woods getting to 19. They have cut the odds to 4-1 as a result.
The run of majors without a European winner has now reached 24, all the way back to Paul Lawrie's 1999 Open triumph.
There have been some unexpected champions in that time - Ben Curtis, Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton, Campbell - but the best that Europe's hopefuls have managed is seven runners-up finishes. For the record they are Sergio Garcia (1999 US PGA), Miguel Angel Jimenez (2000 US Open), Thomas Bjorn (2000 Open), Niclas Fasth (2001 Open), Thomas Levet (2002 Open), Bjorn again ( 2003 Open) and Montgomerie.
Padraig Harrington, Garcia, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald are all in the world's top 20 and know they should be challenging.
With finishes of third in the US Open and fifth in the Open, it is Garcia who once more is the European most fancied to challenge come Sunday.
Garcia, runner- up to Woods in the USPGA in 1999, has now had ten top-ten places in majors and said: "Hopefully, I can get it going and give myself a chance."
After St Andrews, Montgomerie knows that his time has not passed yet. But Woods is just as keen to win here as he was at the Home of Golf - and world No 2 Vijay Singh, who beat Woods last time out, would dearly love to keep the title.