WITH Tom Watson beside her every step of the way, Korean So-Yeon Ryu yesterday displayed the skills that gave her a first major victory - the US Women's Open - at Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, last year - over the still damp Royal Pines resort layout.
But, before you wonder how you might have missed the fact that the five-time British Open champion was down our way, it was not the Tom Watson.
Rather, it was a 33-year-old Melbourne caddie, who was christened Tom by his father, Peter, a Watson fan, and his mother and was born on the same date as the American. His middle name is Jack (after Nicklaus) but his brief professional career didn't go the same way.
Ryu fired a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 to lie only a shot off the lead after in the opening round of the RACV Australian Ladies Masters and maybe she can go one better than her second place behind Australian Katherine Hull in 2009 this time around.
"Tom is a really great adviser to me. He knows the Asian culture because he lives in Japan [where he had a long stint on Brendan Jones's bag a few years back] and I'm learning Japanese from him," Ryu said.
Now, that's a compliment he'd like to hear, as he is on a month's trial with Ryu, looping for her again next week in the Women's Australian Open and then the LPGA Tour swing through Thailand and Singapore.
They shared a love of chocolate - and food generally - and Watson has already recommended several Melbourne restaurants for next week.
It was Watson's mate Dean Herden, who also lives in Japan, who suggested Watson for the job. Herden last year caddied for Ryu in her US Open win, but it was a one-off engagement.
It was a Seoul Sisters party at the pointy end of the leader-board.
Ryu's 66 was matched by Hee-Kyung Seo, who was beaten by Ryu in the three-hole play-off for the US Open title - and that was a repeat of a playoff for a Korean LPG event in China a couple of years ago - plus the Dutchwoman Christel Boeljon.
In quite a twist, Herden is caddying for Seo this week.
Korean Bo-Mee Lee shot a 65 to lead Ryu, Seo and Christel by one - and she is no stranger to being in contention here at Royal Pines.
Two years ago, she was in contention in the final round, but Karrie Webb finished with a staggering 61 to leave Lee six behind in second spot.
Teenagers American Lexi Thompson, 16, and 14-year-old New Zealander Lydia Ko seemed to hit it off quite famously and, for a while there, they swapped birdies until Thompson gained the upper hand late in the round to finish with a 67 while Ko, uncharacteristically, bogeyed two of her last four holes to finish with a 70.
Ko is not yet given to making excuses, but it is known she had a bit of a tummy bug during the morning before her afternoon tee-time for which she had to seek medication.
"My goal was to be two under, I could have shot better but maybe I jinxed it. Maybe I shot two-under because I wanted to shoot two under," was her youthful logic for the two late bogeys.
Thompson said of Ko: "Lydia handled it great. She's an amazing player, so consistent. She's not scared of anything. She was sticking it [hitting it close to the pin] from the beginning."
Throughout the day, they shared a common line between them - "Good shot." That will surely happen many times in the future.