The Tour de France cyclists race on towards Paris, the world's athletes stretch in preparation for the Olympics, but the curious phenomenon that is hitting a small ball with a stick dominates Planet Sport. Most specifically, a tall black man made some grass near a Lancashire railway line the object of unwavering attention for the world's television cameras.
Tiger Woods was on the prowl, the sun was peeking doggedly through the cloud and thousands of spectators stood in reverential silence as another shot was about to made, this time on the third green, in the 141st Open championship.
The championship ends later today and by that time about 200,000 punters will have paid up to £70 a day for the pleasure of standing in a field, some of it resembling a First World War battlefield after an attack in the rain, to watch more than 100 millionaires in naff gear trying to put a dimpled ball into a manufactured hole.
The genius of the Open, though, is that it works both as a sporting event and, crucially, as an experience for the spectator.
The fans come in three categories. The first is "the character", always of the masculine gender. He dresses in tribute to a player or a country, that is, he wears a wig or has a Union Jack suit. His wonderfully tedious presence serves the purpose of franking the Open as an occasion. This role is intermittently played by the streaker.
The second category is also almost exclusively masculine. These are the chaps and their sons in football strips who see no reason to bracket golf as elitist on Open weekend and normally have that fashion accessory of plastic pint glass with a skip-hat hood. They know something, too, about the game.
American golf writers nurture a myth that the Scots and Northern English working man heads straight to the links after a hard shift tunnelling for offal or haggis and plays four holes with a mashie before repairing to his thatched cottage for a plate of gruel.
This portrayal is somewhat inaccurate but even in the obviously affluent atmosphere of Royal Lytham and St Annes something earthy peeks through the manicured lawns. One of my favourite Open memories is that of a youngster, at Turnberry in 2009, sitting on the shoulders of dad on a practice day and shouting: "Haw Tiger," until the object of his attention was forced to scribble on a baseball cap.
The third category of supporter is the dedicated "putter head". He/she is dressed for a sharp walk from base camp to level two. They have more waterproofs than a fishing fleet and carry the obligatory backpack that is filled with socks, food, water, maps, spare shoes, lip balm, an en-suite shower room and a picturesque gazebo for moments of contemplation.
They are the alpha males and females of the course. They know every single inch of the playing surface that stretches to more than 7000 yards in length. They stand patiently at crossing-points like drivers sitting at a level crossing. The players slip past quietly and the "putter heads" mumble about third-place finishes in the John Deere Classic or a tendency of that gentleman in the pink ensemble to drop his left shoulder at the top of his backswing.
They have the eyes of an eagle. They follow a white ball as it plunges like a raptor into deep grass. They scuttle over to guard it like a worried parent.
They are the most obsessive of the golfing tribe but it is a disparate group that shares one characteristic: they want to be close to the action. It is obvious that a comprehensive picture of a day in a golfing tournament can only be achieved by sitting in front of a television.
On a golf course, the fan is often in the wrong position, taunted by roars drifting across the links from more exciting spots. They always have to queue to pay a banker's bonus for roll and sausage. They often find themselves out in the veldt when a rainstorm comes and their only protection is a British cheeriness.
However, there are compensations. There are moments on crossing to another vantage point when the punter can step on the very fairway that Tiger, Tom or Phil just paced.
There are times when the greats are just yards away and the punter can hear the swish of the swing, the clunk of the ball and the post-strike roar or mutter to caddie. It is more comfortable to sit in a football stadium and the view is routinely better but imagine the thrill of placing a foot on that Old Trafford turf moments after Wayne has leapt, twisted and fired in an overhead kick.
Imagine listening to Joey Barton telling a team-mate that he is becoming ever so slightly ruffled. Imagine being close enough to a footballer to appreciate the purity of strike, the force of contact. It happens every moment on the course.
The punters take a break by repairing to bars and sitting on plastic seats to watch the action on huge television screens. They can also be willing victims in a sustained outbreak of corporate mugging in the merchandise tents. But they know greatness, even genius, is only steps away.
At 3.45pm, Woods missed his par putt. There was a sustained "aaaaaah" and the American moved on. He had appointments to keep, for the golf fan waits in every corner of the arena for that close encounter of the magical kind.
Contextual targeting label: