Tiger Woods settled his feud publicly with Nick Faldo in the most emphatic fashion.
First the pair shook hands on the first tee at Hoylake and then Woods squeezed Faldo where it hurts most - his ailing golf game.
With the aid of a spectacular 25-foot eagle on the last, Woods recorded a 67 for a five-under-par first-round total on a day when he was never close to his best.
Faldo shot a five-over-par 77 with a round which made his best, during which he lifted six Majors, seem a lifetime away.
The pair, whose feud surrounded Faldo's TV criticism of Woods' swing last year and dominated the preamble to this tournament, spoke on a couple of occasions.
Not that Woods was in any mood to divulge their thoughts.
"We were out there playing and competing," said Woods.
"Nick didn't get off to a good start and neither did I.
"We were grinding, trying to get ourselves back and turn things around."
That was something of an understatement considering Woods bogeyed the first and Faldo was five over after eight holes.
Perhaps that was down to the pantomime on the first when Faldo offered and received a handshake, despite a mischievous wag in the crowd shouting: "Don't shake his hand Nick!"
Faldo then touched both cheeks as Woods turned away which drew a laugh from the crowd, although quite what Woods made of that was a mystery.
What was certain was that his tee-shot landed in the rough and a bogey five duly followed.
It was the only bogey on his card in a round full of splendid putting.
Two birdies saw him reach the turn in 34, one under par, and he sank an eight-footer for birdie at the 11th but in truth his score was down to some spectacular recoveries, a four-foot putt saving par on the 13th and a trademark lofted 'parachute' chip extricating him from more trouble at the 14th.
Woods said: "It was nice to get that save and get the momentum going and finish off the round very well.
"Making an up and down there meant I had potentially three birdie holes, 15, 16 and 18.
"If you hit good shots you can make birdies. The key part is to stay patient and keep putting yourself there."
At the par-three 15th the radar from the tee was again a little awry, this time the ball shooting over the back of the green, only for him to make another precise recovery.
What makes Woods such a formidable favourite, however, is that two par-fives in the closing three holes at Hoylake is just up his street.
His eagle attempt at the 16th just rolled by but he sank the five-foot return to go to three under.
And then came that closing eagle which came via a two iron, a four iron and a great putt which Woods put down to the aid of television.
He said: "Someone made that same putt earlier. I was watching it on the telecast.
"It doesn't break at the end, it holds its line. I hit it and it held its line all the way there.
"Normally I would have given that hole away if I hadn't seen that putt earlier."
So Woods is menacingly poised one off the lead and honing his game nicely to retain the Old Claret Jug, although he is not so sure whether a score of 20 under par - which would break his Open record set at St Andrews in 2000 - will be beaten come Sunday.
He said: "I'd take that right now. But realistically is it going to take that? I don't think so. But shooting 67 makes me feel good."
The same could not be said for Faldo.