Brian Keogh in Miami
The truth is brutal but Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington were united by an honest appraisal of their performances in the WGC - CA Championship at Doral's Blue Monster in Miami.
While Woods admitted that he struggled with his putting and a neck injury on his way to a two-stroke win over Brett Wetterich and his 13th individual World Golf Championships title from just 24 starts, Harrington confessed that his problems are mostly in his head after a closing 71 left him nine shots behind in a share of 19th place.
Both men have work to do to get their games in shape for next week's Masters at Augusta, though Woods will be the happier of the two after clinching a 56th PGA Tour victory that brings his tournament earnings in the United States to a staggering $68 million.
"I think you have to analyse your performance and where you went wrong," Woods said after laying up twice on the dreaded closing hole on his way to a final round 73. "Too many people are afraid to look deep down and look at where you made mistakes. That's not always easy to do, to be honest with yourself.
"That's something my father always instilled in me and even to this day, sometimes it's difficult, but you have to take an honest look and have an honest evaluation of your performance.
"I made too many mental mistakes, which I never do. Physical mistakes I can handle, but since this is not a reactionary sport, it's just frustrating for me to make a mental mistake."
Leading by four strokes starting the final round, Woods eased into a six-stroke lead with eight holes to play but missed several short putts and dropped three shots coming home in a 33-putt round that left him ranked 64th in putting in a field of 73.
Yet despite all that and worryingly for Woods' rivals for the Masters, where he will be seeking his fifth green jacket and his third successive major victory, no-one had the game to put him under pressure in the final round.
"You can't have any better way (of preparing), getting a 'W' right before you go," beamed Woods, who had finished with a career worst back nine in last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational. "I'm very excited about the things that I've been able to rectify on Monday and Tuesday and then obviously apply Thursday through Sunday.
"Conditions were not easy and you had to grind it out. I stayed pretty patient all day and the whole idea was to shoot under par and it would be over. I didn't quite get it done but ended up winning the tournament anyways.
"I struggled a little bit on the greens today, getting the pace down. The wind was a little blustery and I had a hard time figuring out the grain."
Wetterich closed the gap to three shots with one to play, though a missed 10 foot birdie putt at the 17th allowed Woods the luxury of two lay ups on his way to an intellingent bogey five at the last.
Woods could afford to take a three iron off the tee and then lay up short of the green with an eight-iron before wedging on and two-putting from 50 feet for his 11th WGC strokeplay win.
"If Brett makes that putt (on 17), I have to hit driver, plain and simple, unless he soups it left. If he hits it right, I still have to hit driver and be committed to it and get it down there, and basically try and make par just in case he makes birdie, somehow.
"Since he missed that putt on 17, he makes three all day, it doesn't really matter if I play a three-shot hole and make five."
US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, who tied for third with Sergio Garcia and compatriot Robert Allenby, summed up Woods talent in blunt Australian fashion.
"He's just better than us, I think," Ogilvy said after finishing four strokes adrift after a 70. "I wish I could work out how he does it, because he seems to do it every time we play.
"His iron play is probably the best in the world and he's easily the best putter out here, even though he moaned about it on Thursday."
Harrington will also be working hard on his putting when he continues his countdown to Augusta at this week's Shell Houston Open in Texas.
But he is more concerned with getting himself in the right frame of mind and admits that he has been a tad too hard on himself so far this season.
"It is just my head, that's all I have to get right," Harrington said after finishing on one under par thanks to a confidence boosting birdie at the 18th. "Ten under is a fine total but I could easily have saved another five or six shots this week.
"I didn't putt well this week after putting well the first four weeks out here and being very happy with it. I wasn't hitting my 15 foot putts well. I hit them well for the first four weeks out here but I didn't hit them near as well here.
"Putting, pitching, chipping, bunker play. That all needs work. Swing wise I am happy. I am hitting all the shots I want to hit but it is just about being in the right frame of mind.
"As I know it takes me a couple of weeks to get this right and I can do that best, not on the range, but on the golf course. At the moment I am pushing a little bit - trying a little bit too hard. I just need to ease off."
While Phil Mickelson played 27 holes at Augusta early last week, reportedly shooting 65 before covering another nine holes in 31, Harrington has never seen the point of making an early visit.
He said: "I always think that the golf course changes from Monday through to Thursday anyway. So going there weeks in advance makes no sense to me.
"You can nearly overplay Augusta. You are going to have three practice rounds from Monday through to Wednesday. But it plays so different on Thursday when you get out there in competition, you hit it further and it is just a different golf course."