When Tom Watson birdied the 71st hole to lead by one, just as he had done 32 years previously, it appeared he really could win a sixth Open title at the age of 59 and nine months on from hip-replacement surgery.
His second shot at the last ran just over the green and then he putted eight feet past the hole. The putt for victory betrayed his age, it never looked like going in and the deflation around the course was acute. Instead, step forward Stewart Cink.
In the slightly surreal atmosphere of the four-hole play-off, the 36-year-old gentle giant from Georgia held his composure to win his first major championship.