The thing about a picture byline – like the one perched up in the corner of this page which resembles a gargoyle on a Gothic buttress – is that it captures a moment in time. And with the passing of the years, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Unlike the image presented, this correspondent, now has white hair and a wispy beard while my face has more lines than the London Underground.

Of course, it’s impossible to reverse the ageing process. Well, unless you’re Lulu or somebody like that. Today, I add another leaf in my history as it’s my birthday. And with the policy of minimum pricing on alcohol kicking in to douse any hope of a cheap knees-up, I’ve decided to abandon the idea of hosting a party and plan instead to mark the occasion by doing what I did on the day I was born; wailing, crying and writhing about in a shrieking lather.

On Tuesday last week, meanwhile, Lydia Ko was celebrating her own birthday as she turned 21. So, just a couple of years younger than this scribe then? On Sunday night in San Francisco, you could say Ko’s career was reborn as she claimed her first win since July 2016 in the LPGA Tour’s MEDIHEAL Championship.

It’s been a tough old spell for the New Zealander, with off course choppings and changings creating an uneasy atmosphere of negativity and controversy. If she wasn’t changing clubs, she was changing coaches. If she wasn’t changing coaches, she was changing caddies. The hiring and firing seemed to come with such frequent abandon it almost made Donald Trump’s general approach to staffing look like a shimmering example of serene stability and longevity.

Throw in a fairly unsavoury contretemps between Ko’s team and her former coach, David Leadbetter, and the overwhelming scrutiny continued to tarnish that which should be cherished. Let’s face it, the meteoric rise of Ko has been something quite extraordinary, not just for golf but for sport in general. Once that star begins to show signs of fallibility and starts to fall a bit, though, the knives inevitably get sharpened at a furious haste. ‘Twas ever thus.

While her golfing career hurtled off into a different stratosphere, the down-to-earth nature of the girl herself made that development even more captivating.

With her chatty, approachable and cheery demeanour, Ko proved that you could still have that competitive killer instinct required to dominate the game without being cold and aloof. Her modesty was as impressive as her golf and, having grown up in the public eye, that remains a highly admirable trait.

After winning 12 titles in the space of just 27 glory-laden months, while becoming the youngest player, male or female, to top the world rankings at 17, folk got used to this seemingly nonchalant approach to title grabbing.

The fact she was still just a teenager during this initial period of authority was commonly overlooked. When the sweeping changes to her backroom team were made and the winning stopped, the critical mutterings heightened. Like a laboratory specimen in a petri dish, Ko was under the relentless gaze of the microscope.

“People are like, ‘hey, because of this you’re not winning, because of that you’re not winning’,” she said on Sunday “Actually, I tried to stay away from all the media and everything that was being said about me.” Perhaps she was taking advice from the Rangers PR department?

The winless drought, which had stretched to 43 events, was brought to an end in emphatic style. Ko launched a 3-wood from some 230 yards into a couple of feet which set up the eagle and edged out Minjee Lee at the first play-off hole.

It may turn out to be one of the most important shots of her young career. This victory was not historic like some of her previous conquests. It was, however, her most emotional as the sheer relief was released in torrents of tears.

In recent weeks, hysterical observers were questioning whether Ko’s best days were already behind her. At just 21, they can still be ahead of her. As for the man hitting 42 today? Cue much wailing and crying …