If you’re making the case for golf Exhibit A – the legend that is Laura Davies – must surely be among the first entered into evidence?
The 57-year-old continues to delight and impress in equal measure across every facet of the game, her presence at Carnoustie this past week a genuine highlight.
While the finish to the tournament was gripping with multiple players having a chance to win, one of the standout performances of the week unquestionably came from Davies.
A respectable second round of 70 was enough for Davies to advance to the weekend, joining a field that featured not a single player born when the Dame made her professional debut.
"But Davies’ involvement this past week extended well beyond her play, her work in the commentary booth over the course of the week making at least as big a contribution." - Rod Morri.
Carnoustie marked Davies’ 41st consecutive appearance at this tournament, testament not only to her extraordinary talent but to the game itself that would allow such a feat.
It would be absurd to think almost any other significant athletic pursuit could see a 57-year-old legitimately compete against a player half that age.
Yet at Carnoustie, Davies’ 36-hole score was just two shots adrift of that of eventual winner Anna Nordqvist – and the veteran’s performance was hardly an outlier.
Let’s not forget Phil Mickelson captured the PGA just three months ago at the age of 50 and Tom Watson came within a soft bounce of capturing a sixth Claret Jug at Turnberry in 2009 – at the tender age of 59.
That came a year after Greg Norman led into the final round at Royal Birkdale at the age of 53 and six years before Peter Senior won the Australian Masters at Huntingdale at the age of 56.
Davies’ name sits comfortably in that company, the four-time major winner showing once again this past week that she still has plenty of game.
While admitting winning might be a stretch, Davies says she knows she still plays well enough to be amongst the top-10 most weeks.
“I mean, I’ve just hit three 2-irons only maybe four or five players in this field could hit,” she said following a disappointing Saturday 78 where she made par on each of the last three holes after hitting 2-irons for her approach.
“The rest can’t hit 2-irons.”
But Davies’ involvement this past week extended well beyond her play, her work in the commentary booth over the course of the week making at least as big a contribution.
A regular on the Sky Sports coverage when she’s not playing, Davies has the unique gift among TV announcers of being able to call it as she sees it yet without offending.
"If professional golf is nothing more than entertainment – and while we’re all guilty of taking it too seriously at times, that’s all it really is – then Davies is one of its very best exponents."
She is critical without malice and self-deprecating without false modesty. It is a rare and welcome set of skills.
Davies is likeable and doesn’t take herself too seriously which are among the attributes that make her so popular globally.
But perhaps her most appealing personality trait might best be summed up simply by noting this: she does things she doesn’t have to, simply because they’re the right thing to do.
For several years she was a regular on the then ALPG annual pro-am circuit that travelled country NSW, her presence a major drawcard for sponsors and players alike and instrumental in the organisation’s survival.
There are no doubt countless similar stories told around the world because Davies, while she would never blow her own trumpet, has an instinct for doing the right thing and always does it.
If professional golf is nothing more than entertainment – and while we’re all guilty of taking it too seriously at times, that’s all it really is – then Davies is one of its very best exponents.
May she continue to be a part of the game for many years to come.