The Watson Open
"It would have been a hell of a story, wouldn't it?"
Tom Watson summed things up perfectly in the immediate aftermath of his ultimately failed bid to provide us with the greatest script in the history of golf.
In deed and then in word, the 59-year-old master dictated the story line in this never-to-be-forgotten week at Turnberry.
As the corporate types dragged their trolleys down the first fairway on a cool and windswept morning after the week before, you knew they would be talking about one man - and it wasn't the champion.
With all due respect to Stewart Cink, and he deserves plenty, Turnberry 2009 will always been known as the "Watson Open", even though the five-time champion couldn't quite claim his record-equalling sixth Claret Jug.
And those high handicappers entitled to take on the South Ayrshire links on the Monday morning after the Open will surely have begun their rounds believing anything was possible.
Watson's unlikely attempt to beat the golfing world proved that on a links course at least, the sport isn't just the power game preserve of gym monkeys.
This is also a game of strategy, guile, craft and nerve. Watson had the first three in abundance and only on the 72nd hole did the nerve bit desert him.
It is hard to describe the deflating, sinking (no pun intended) feeling that was brought about by Watson's missed eight-footer for the Championship. The high would have been so high - the like of which we have never seen before.
Had Watson won at 59, the achievement would have surpassed Jack Nicklaus's 1986 Masters victory at the age of 46 as the most romantic major win in golf.
That was surely the last time the game had anything that could come close to what Watson was doing at Turnberry.
And so there must be some sympathy for Stewart Cink. Has there ever been a less popular major winner? Nothing against the champion, it is just that everyone bar the American's family wanted so badly to see Watson walk away with the spoils.
But credit must go to the newest member of the major champion winning club. His birdie on the home green to set the target at two under par was marvellously constructed and executed.
It was Cink who ultimately seized the moment and then sailed through the anti-climactic play-off. To see Watson's challenge fade so dramatically in the four-hole shoot out was particularly sad.
There were those afterwards who claimed it should have been played over a matchplay format so that at least he could have shaken hands when the game was up rather than prolong the agony.
Of course that could never happen in a strokeplay event. And what about those who had resolutely held on to their seats on the 18th who would have been left with nothing to see?
By the time the end game was being played out Lee Westwood had long departed the scene, frustration having given way to sickness at the knowledge that his three putts on the home green had cost him a place in the play-off.
The Englishman is getting closer and closer. The quality of his ball striking is now second to none, but this once clinical finisher has to rediscover that quality if he is to finally get over the line in a major.
The cold hard fact is that he bogeyed three of the last four holes to miss out on a play-off by a single stroke. His inward half of 38 was the worst score over that stretch of holes of any of the contenders.
But I back Westwood to bounce back stronger for the experience. It will be tough, make no mistake, but he is as stubborn as they come and he'll need to feed off every ounce of that resilience to fulfil his undoubted potential.
Chris Wood also missed out on the shoot out by a single stroke after dropping a shot at the last, but as a 21-year-old in his first full year as a pro his circumstances are markedly different.
He can depart Turnberry head held high after playing a big part in this astonishing Open.
It was a fabulous tournament, one that will never be forgotten. But Wood, Westwood and even the champion Cink were bit-part players. We all know who the star was even if the last dramatic plot twist didn't go Tom Watson's way.