Padraig Harrington says coming to terms with the fact he may never win another major has helped spark his golfing renaissance at Dundonald Links.
The 45-year-old Irishman, a three-time major winner, has turned back the clock at this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open with a superb display of links golf.
Sitting on a nine under par total after rounds of 67 and 68, the six-time Ryder Cup player is in great shape as he chases a 32nd professional win of an illustrious career.
For many European Tour pros, life the other side of 40 can be a frustrating experience.
The good performances they produced so easily in their twenties and thirties suddenly become few and far between.
Hours are spent working endlessly on their game in the hope of enjoying one final hurrah.
By contrast, Harrington is spending far less time on the range these days. Instead, he is relaxed with his own golfing legacy and determined to grow old gracefully.
He said: “When I came on tour I played with some of the elder statesmen and I would watch them fighting it and I would ask them why.
“They would say ‘if I can just win one more tournament’ but they had already done everything they were going to do and one more tournament win was not going to change that.
“I would hate to be that guy.
“I get a lot of respect from the younger players and when we sit down for lunch after rounds they can’t stop quizzing me about the game.
“They don’t want to see you fighting it too much out there.
“I have come to the conclusion that I have pretty much done what I’m going to do in golf.
“I will win tournaments and I enjoy being out here so why bother beating myself up over it?
“If I win another major or even three or four it is not a huge deal.
“If you told me I was going to win another six, well that might be different.
“But it is not going to change me and there is no point fighting it at this stage. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and letting it happen.”
Harrington may be at ease with what he has achieved in the game but he remains convinced he can win more titles, including this week’s Scottish Open.
When asked if he was surprised to see his name at the top of the leaderboard at Dundonald Links in an event boasting 16 of the world’s top-50, he replied: “I’m not even close to being surprised.
“It will happen pretty regularly. I can’t do it on-demand though.
“I can’t tell you it’s going to happen next week but it will happen as it did in Portugal six months ago and at the Honda Classic the year before.
“Sometimes I will throw in these weeks out of the blue.”
The Open championship returns to Royal Birkdale next week, the venue where Harrington successfully defended the Claret Jug in 2008.
Could the Irishman get back in the mix at Southport nine years on?
He added: “Generally players tend to peak the week after a major, in my case, maybe I’m hitting form a week too early. Let’s see how the rest of this week goes first.”