Cameron Smith has shown he can match it with the world's best golfers consistently and his stunning success at the British Open should give him the confidence to achieve many more triumphs.
The Queenslander, 28, broke through for his first major victory in the 150th Open at St Andrews to become only the fifth Australian to win the tournament, joining Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Greg Norman and Ian Baker-Finch.
A wonderful touch around the greens has always been the cornerstone of Smith's game and this served him well at the home of golf.
After setting the lowest halfway total in an Open at St Andrews with 67 and 64 in his opening two rounds, he showed enormous character to recover from a one-over 73 in the penultimate round.
In an incredible final round, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was on track for victory before Smith's onslaught in the back nine, shooting five consecutive birdies from the 10th to the 14th.
But he reserved his most spectacular moment for the famous Road Hole at the 17th.
After leaving his second shot on the par four well short of the green with a treacherous bunker between him and the pin, Smith's superbly-weighted putt found the middle of the green before making par.
His birdie on the final hole gave him 20-under for the tournament, a shot clear of American Cameron Young and two of McIlroy, whose touch on the greens deserted him at crucial times.
Managing your list correctly and having a slice of luck with injuries are always key factors in any premiership.
However, this season it might come down to the club that best navigates the ever-present COVID threat that ends up taking the ultimate prize.
With a surge in COVID cases expected next month and likely to extend into September, the health of clubs' lists will be paramount.
Clubs will become extremely cautious and conservative about people being permitted into the dressing rooms before and after games.
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Several have already tightened their protocols, imposing stricter demands on the activities players participate in outside the club.
But the players are not the only worry for clubs, with 10 of the 18 senior coaches already having missed at least one game so far during this season.
Port Adelaide's Ken Hinkley was the latest to go down, with assistant Nathan Bassett taking over the reins against Melbourne in Alice Springs.
Let's hope the finals are not affected, but the increasing likelihood is that they will be.
Although the stunning victory over Richmond was only North Melbourne's second this season and its seventh in the past 54 games, the likely wooden spooner should not receive a priority pick in the AFL national draft.
The Kangaroos have struggled to attract top-line recruits from other clubs recently, but most players traded in from other clubs in the past seven years have failed to provide much value and they gave up far too much for several of them.
Just before David Noble was appointed as Rhyce Shaw's successor as senior coach at the end of 2020 with a commitment to rebuild, North Melbourne cut deep into its list, making extensive changes including trading experienced campaigners Ben Brown and Shaun Higgins.
The Kangaroos also traded another experienced player, Robbie Tarrant, to Richmond at the end of last season.
Although they were undeniably assisted by the Tigers' profligacy in front of goal in their first game under interim coach Leigh Adams, the Roos backed up president Sonja Hood's confidence that there is some genuine ability on their list.
Cameron Zurhaar, who has put contract talks on hold until the end of the season, displayed his wares with a match-winning six-goal haul.
The Roos must retain the services of Zurhaar and last year's No. 1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis, who is reportedly assessing his options when he comes out of contract.
Adams has the job for the remainder of the season, but an experienced senior coach with the strength of character for the long haul is what the Kangaroos require to rise up the ladder.
Justin Leppitsch, who was a senior coach with Brisbane and has gained a formidable reputation as an assistant at Richmond and now Collingwood, and Ross Lyon, who took St Kilda and Fremantle to grand finals, appeal as the best candidates to replace Noble.
As qualified as Shaw and Noble were, the pressures associated with the top job can sort out even those with impeccable credentials as assistants.
It is hard to dispute Noble's claim that his tenure of 38 games was not enough, but he was never going to survive with such a disastrous win-loss record, even if there were mitigating circumstances.
Ben Cunnington's season-long absence from the midfield has been a crushing blow and his experience and composure alongside his younger teammates could have been telling in a few games.
Noble's replacement should be empowered to set up a framework for the future and must be given sufficient time and resources to implement his plan.
The coach will not be the complete solution - the board and CEO must be totally supportive of the new direction and approach and the list management team needs to do plenty of work on rectifying past mistakes.
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