Those demons of Oakmont truly believed they had buried Shane Lowry once more, but just when the Irishman seemed to be re-enacting his torment of the 2016 US Open, so he somehow found the gumption to entomb his ghouls deep in this Arabian Desert.
This was the first time Lowry had held a third-round lead since blowing that four-shot advantage almost three years ago and when his three-shot cushion was transformed into a gaping four-shot deficit with seven holes remaining in this HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, it appeared grim history was being re-run.
But as the South African Richard Sterne – who had been so impressive over those opening stages – suddenly stumbled and went from fearless hunter to nervous hunted, Lowry’s putter performed a wild rescue act.
There was any number of vital putts on the back nine, but none more so than the 15-footer on the 17th for a par. Lowry had drawn level with Sterne on the 16th, yet was odds-on to go behind once more when he missed the green on the right. But the ball dropped and, so, too, did his rival’s head and all that was left was for Lowry, courtesy of a beautifully controlled three-wood second, to birdie the par-five 18th.