Back in January Patrick Reed did what Patrick Reed does.
He courted controversy with a cheating incident, he inflamed golfers around the world, and then he seemed to thrive on the heat he had surrounded himself in.
The manner of his victory in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines appalled many who couldn't forgive or forget the way in which he took a drop. It prompted gasps from the commentary box and indignation across social media.
The man himself was unrepentant and also rather brilliant on the scorecard, eventually defeating a good field by five strokes.
In a year when the course will also host the US Open it was a fine marker to lay down and it presents him with the opportunity of repeating the feat of Tiger Woods, who won there twice in 2008.
For Reed, the ninth worldwide win of his career linked not only the US Open to come, but also last year's championship.
Because at Winged Foot last September he took a one shot lead into the weekend and responded with rounds of 77-74.
It was a performance that ignited change: he left his old coach and set up with David Leadbetter.
"This one was pretty special," he said afterwards. "I had more nerves today than the final round at Augusta (when winning the 2018 Masters).
"To go and get this win, especially with making such a big swing change and changing coach, to be tied for the lead, to see the swing hold up throughout the round, it meant a lot, it meant that I'm on the right path."
Reed in the recent Majors
There are two ways to view Reed's efforts in the Majors since the return from lockdown.
On the one hand, he's been superbly consistent, landing a top 20 finish in all five of them.
On the other, there must be a sense of frustration. In last year's PGA Championship at Harding Park he was in the top 25 all week but never quite got into contention before finishing T13th. In this year's event he only just made the cut before racing to T17th over the weekend.
In November's Masters he was in the top 10 all week and ended the week T10th; in April it was very nearly the same before landing tied eighth.
While at last year's US Open we know he slipped from the lead to T13th at the weekend.
His perspective on these five efforts will surely influence his performance in the next: a nagging sense of missed opportunity or the promise that he's close to a second Major triumph?
Reed in the US Open
He has a solid championship record: seven starts, six cuts made, four top 15 finishes, a best of fourth at Shinnecock Hils in 2018.
In addition to that solo halfway lead last year, he also shared the 36 hole lead in 2015 and he has three times been within five blows of the lead after 54 holes, although never closer than three.
Reed at Torrey Pines
Another sturdy log book: six starts, six cuts made, one post-third round withdrawal, four top 25 finishes.
Curiously, his course form was very progressive, reading (if you ignore the WD): 39-23-13-6-1. Why "was"? Because there's no way of it continuing, is there?
Unless you count winning a Major instead of a regular tour event further progress, of course.
Since the start of May he's missed cuts at Innisbrook and Colonial, but has also finished tied sixth at Quail Hollow, T17th at Kiawah Island, and tied fifth last week at Muirfield Village.
He has been getting off to slow start, however. In four of those five tournament he was outside the top 30 after 18 holes and in three beyond the top 40.
Reed discussing Torrey Pines last week
"I definitely take good vibes from it (the win in January). Really the only difference I feel like there is, is they have two extra tee boxes. I think they have a longer one on 11 and then the one on 15 that is a bear. Really for me, at the end of the day, it's go out there and it's Torrey Pines.
"You have to hit the fairway, you have to hit greens, you got to make putts. And any time you're playing a US Open you know how penalising the rough's going to be. So you got to have full control over your golf ball and when I won back there earlier this year it was the same thing, you hit it in the rough you're going to pay a penalty for it.
"You have to hit fairways and have to attack the golf course. I feel like if I do that, then I feel like it would be a good test."
Reed on the US Open after winning in January
"The golf course is hard. I mean, you definitely know why it's a US Open venue and seeing it this week, seeing how tough it played in certain conditions, that definitely shows how much harder it's going to play once June comes around with a little firmer, faster greens and also with thicker rough
"The biggest thing is when you play a US Open golf course, you have to have resilience. You look at all the great players throughout times, all of them are really resilient.
"It doesn't really matter what's going on around them, what's going on on the golf course, whether they're getting good breaks or bad breaks, they seem to really figure out a way to get the job done, to really just drive in and to keep on improving each shot each day.
"That's golf, that's what you're supposed to do. That's why I love the game. It throws punches at you, you throw punches at it and at the end of the day hopefully you're the one standing."