Lee Westwood says striking that right balance at the US Open this week will be vital to his hopes of winning a first major title.
The championship begins at the Congressional golf club in Washington tomorrow with the Worksop golfer in a three-ball including world number one Luke Donald and number three Martin Kaymer.
Aged 38, world number two Westwood knows he needs to pull off the difficult art of remaining patient while desperately wanting not to waste the next opportunity that comes along.
He said on his return to the course where he finished 19th on his debut in the event 14 years ago: “It’s a tricky balancing act, going in with expectations but playing with a freedom as well.
“It’s a fine line when you do get really close to it between becoming frustrated, but still seeing the positives in it.
“I feel like my game is good enough and if I just do a few things differently at the right times then it’ll be the difference between a second and a win.
“If you’re a good player you’re going to have disappointments because you’re going to be in contention a lot.
“So that’s all part and parcel of it. As golfers, if you have a successful year we maybe win three times a year - that’s about 10% of the times you play.
“So you get used to not winning and being disappointed, so if you’re any good and mentally right you learn to try and take the positives out of anything, even when you maybe finish second and you thought you should have won one of these.
“You try and look at it on the bright side and I think I’ve probably managed to do it.”