She appeared to have stepped straight off the golf course and into the passenger's seat.
The LPGA star Yani Tseng wore shorts and her branded golf cap as she sat on the back of a jet ski with her arms around the waist of her driver, her Florida neighbour, Annika Sorenstam.
A bucking bronco might have been more symbolic mode of transport. In many ways, Tseng and her equally talented male counterpart, Rory McIlroy, are still trying to come to grips with replacing the superstars who sat before them, to wrap their heads around the No 1 position, not to mention their hands.
Steering the ship is not easy.
Born five months apart, McIlroy and Tseng possess all the tools to ride uninterrupted at the top of the professional rankings for years to come - charm, talent and a growing popularity that comes with being ranked No 1. But as any water skier or jet-ski aficionado knows, smooth water can quickly give way to chop.
Sorenstam tweeted the jet-ski photo a couple of weeks ago, just days after the slumping Tseng had lamented long and loud about how she no longer cared if she kept the top ranking in the women's game. She got her implied wish last weekend - like a jet ski, it disappeared in the mist.
McIlroy is facing a personal and professional splashdown, too. After walking off the course three weeks ago in frustration at yet another sloppy round in a frightful 2013 season, he can be displaced this week as No 1 by Tiger Woods if the latter wins the PGA Tour's Arnold Palmer Invitational, played at a venue where Woods has eight career victories.
Clearly, for some, getting to No 1 is easier than staying there.
Sorenstam, the greatest female player of the past quarter-century, has become a confidant and adviser to Tseng - the Taiwanese star purchased the Swede's former home and lives a few hundred yards away - and has logged plenty of time counselling her 24-year-old friend on the nuances of being numero uno.
"I always explain to her that it is difficult, not only because you have a target on your back and everyone wants to catch you, but also because you have to recreate your own goals," Sorenstam told The National. "It is easy to chase someone, but when you are in front, you really have to find motivation and push yourself.
"As soon as things start going sideways, even for only a couple tournaments, which can easily happen in our game, everyone in the media wonders what is wrong."
That is if the player has not begun wondering already, and for both Tseng and McIlroy, the frustrations have lasted far longer than a couple of events. Tseng, the youngest player - male or female - to win five major championships, hasn't won a tournament since last March. McIlroy, coming off joint top-player awards on the PGA and European tours, has been clearly off his game since he missed the cut in Abu Dhabi in January.
For McIlroy, the perceived pressure reached a crisis proportion when he walked off the course in mid-round at the Honda Classic. He was the defending champion, had claimed the No 1 ranking there a year earlier, and had set up his American base 10 minutes away in the offseason. He might as well have fired a metaphorical red flare in the air. Although, a sponsor had done that a few weeks earlier, already.
Introduced at a splashy seaside party as Nike's newest club-toting pitchman in January, complete with water cannons, holograms and smoke bombs, McIlroy went into an immediate and well-chronicled funk, though he showed brief signs of life in his most recent start outside Miami.
As he walked off the course March 1- he was 7 over through eight holes and had just whacked another shot into a lake - McIlroy said he wasn't there "mentally". Older heads listened and interpreted the message.
"Sure, he's been bred for stardom since an early age and his upbringing was Tiger-esque," his friend and countryman, Graeme McDowell, told the US tour's website this week. "He's taken it in stride. But in the end, something had to give.
"The Nike contract, all the stardom, being the No 1 player in the world, all the pressure - it has taken its toll. There was a release valve that was going to blow at some point. I suppose he felt the pressure at the start of this year to live up to expectations and new sponsors and to prove he's worth every penny. It takes acclimatising."
Not everybody is wired to fly at high altitude. The job description is more complicated than it seems and comes with unique pressures.
"I wouldn't say 'lonely' is the word, but you're exposed," said the three-time major champion Ernie Els, a former No 1. "People look at you and you're kind of the leader of the pack. In a way, you have to act accordingly. You have to show that you're No 1 in your game. You've got to perform.
"There's a lot of guys out there that want to be wherever you are. So you're a guy walking around with a lot more pressure than the guy that's 50th in the world, I can promise you."
Interestingly, McIlroy had shown few protracted signs of stress before his 2013 wobbles. Two days before he walked off the course at the Honda, Woods was asked for his estimation of how McIlroy had handled being the marked man in the top spot, a position the Northern Irishman has held for most of the past 12 months.
"He's had time to adapt and to grow into it," Woods said. "I think he's done a fantastic job of it."
Last year, McIlroy became the youngest player in 32 years to win two majors, and the similarly big-hitting Tseng likewise made a fast ascent on her side of the gender fence. In sobering comments earlier this month, Tseng said being ranked No 1 for the past 109 weeks has taken an actual toll. Last weekend, American Stacy Lewis won in Phoenix to knock Tseng off her perch, perhaps mercifully so.
"It's tough and it's very lonely," Tseng said. "No one knows how you feel. Everybody wants to be in your shoes, but no one knows how tough that is. The first year, when I was world No 1, I feel good. But every month, everybody keeps building the expectations on me and that's lots of pressure."
McIlroy, who because of missed cuts, withdrawals and poor play has logged only eight full rounds over the first three months of the season, has been grinding away in private and plans one more start before returning to the spotlight at the US Masters next month. He has blown up there on the weekend in each of the past two years.
"I'm not secluding myself, but sort of get away from this whole thing a bit and work on my game a bit more in peace and quiet," McIlroy said two weeks ago.
This whole thing. That phrase about sums it up, no?
Tseng said: "Not many people have been there before, so I don't have many people to ask, 'What should I do?' You just need to find your way to stay on top as long as you can.
"Annika has a different way, Tiger, Rory; everybody has a different way to stay on top, but you need to find your way. I'm looking for how can I be on top, but sometimes, I even feel maybe No 2 is good."
Tseng is hardly the first female star who lost some degree of interest or application; the former No 1 Lorena Ochoa retired at age 28 to start a family and has not looked back.
This week at the Kia Classic in southern California, on the one-year anniversary of her last victory, Tseng overslept, missed her pro-am tee time and was automatically disqualified.
"I don't care if I lose it, I don't really care about world No 1 now," Tseng said shortly before Lewis unseated her. "I just want to have fun. World No 1, I know it's good and people like it, but I want to care about myself more and I just want to enjoy [life]. If I lose [it], I'll get back one day."
Whether it is worth the effort and scrutiny is up to the individual.
"Every putt and shot gets analysed, and these golfers get second-guessed time and again until, oftentimes, they begin to second-guess their own decision making," said Dr Gio Valiante, a sports psychologist and author who has several PGA Tour clients. "That's the thing about expectations: they are a double-edged sword in psychology.
"Frequently, one needs high expectations to achieve great things, but when expectations are too high, every act can become a disappointment. Ultimately, golfers begin associating their golf with perpetual disappointment and before you know it, their games collapse."
Coincidentally or not, McIlroy and Tseng were 22 when they first climbed to No 1, an age that often brings even more pressure to bear. Male players are believed to reach their physical pinnacle at around age 32 and women are considered in their prime years in their mid-20s, but as far as development between the ears, no performance data is available to quantify.
Sorenstam said "you really have to stay focused and mentally tough" to block out distractions and expectations. She added: "It sounds much easier than it is."
As an elite player put it: "Sometimes, you need to sit back and say, 'Look, you're only 20, 21 years old, you're doing pretty well,' and just put things in perspective a little bit."
The source of that sage advice was McIlroy himself, in 2010.