Dustin Johnson came out all guns blazing when winning the 2020 Masters in November.
But with Augusta National a much different beast on Thursday, last year's champion had to settle for a 2-over 74 as the course bit him late on.
A morning starter, his day began with a bogey at the first hole: the stats gurus were quick to note that no-one has gone on to win the Green Jacket after opening with a dropped shot at No.1 since Zach Johnson in 2007.
Johnson balanced the books straight away with a good two-putt birdie at the par-5 2nd and the nerves - if indeed the laidback double Major winner has any - were calmed.
A lip-out at the fifth following a loose drive put him over par again but then came a moment of magic. A bogey looked likely at 11 after he shoved his approach right into the bail-out area but Johnson produced one of the roars of the day as his deft chip trickled onto the green and toppled into the cup for birdie.
Johnson had a look at eagle on the par-5 13th but a tap-in birdie put him under par for the first time and within a couple of the lead.
DJ had posted 20-under when winning in November, starting his week with a 7-under 65. But, today, Augusta National wanted to give Johnson a little reminder who was boss.
And after a bogey at 16 returned Johnson to level par, the 18th hit him hard.
A loose drive into the pine straw down the right wasn't ideal, a bogey always likely from there. But the 36-year-old compounded the error by three-putting for a closing double bogey. Ouch.
When DJ ambled off the course, he was five behind the clubhouse lead set by Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama.
Far from a disaster but it matched his second worst first-round score in 11 Masters starts. There's an awful long way to go but the impression was left that Johnson's grip on the Green Jacket has loosened a little.
Johnson's first-round stats
Fairways Hit: 8 of 14
Greens In Regulation: 10 of 18
Sand Saves: 0 of 0
Putts per hole: 1.78
On his opening 74
"Would have liked to have finished a little bit better today but, you know, the course was playing tough. I felt like I played pretty well, just didn't score that great. Two-over is obviously not a terrible score today, it's difficult, so I feel like I'm still right in it. Just need to go out and shoot a good score tomorrow. I need to play a little bit better though."
On his week so far as defending champion
"It's been great. Tuesday evening was very nice with the Champions Dinner, something that I was really looking forward to. Really enjoyed it so this week's been unbelievable but obviously it was nice to get the tournament started."