Carnoustie - Rory McIlroy put memories of a flat final-round performance at the Masters firmly behind him with a battling last round at The Open on Sunday as he posted a one-under-par 70 to finish six-under overall.
The 29-year-old's bid to add a fifth major, four years on from his last, may have fallen just short but a return to the daring and carefree style of his younger days seems to have paid off.
Rather than going into his shell as he did in the final pairing with eventual champion Patrick Reed at Augusta this year, he didn't let a frustrating front nine at Carnoustie - including two bogeys in the first five holes - crush his spirit.
"My mindset was go and spoil the party here," sad McIlroy.
"It was cool. It was really cool. I have no regrets. I played the way I wanted to play this week.
"It gives me a lot of encouragement going into the final major of the year.
"I didn't get off to a great start, but I hung in there, and I battled back."
A look of astonishment crossed his face when he dropped a shot at the fifth, and it was little wonder as the ball went round the lip but refused to drop.
He entered the turn for home in better spirits after holing a massive birdie putt at the ninth to move to four-under, winking at American playing partner Matt Kuchar as he went to pick the ball from the hole.
Another birdie came on the 11th, the 2014 Open champion pumping his fist in celebration.
By the 12th he was wiping his brow in consternation at dropping a shot, but then came a moment when he at last showed some spark.
An eagle on the 14th with a monster putt had the Northern Irishman jumping up into the air.
The fist was pumping again at the penultimate hole, though this time it was with relief at saving par after he had left himself a tricky putt having found a bunker prior to that.
However, a rueful look swept his face when he put his second shot at the 18th too far from the hole to convert the birdie opportunity that followed. And with that he probably knew that his opportunity to win the Claret Jug for a second time had gone too.
"I don't really feel like it's a defeat," said McIlroy.
"I feel like it's a good week. One guy out of 156 is going to win. 155 other guys are going to leave a little disappointed."
McIlroy, who will have the extra incentive of trying to win next year in front of his home fans at Portrush in Northern Ireland, said he had left nothing out on the golf course.
"I committed to everything. I hit the shots when I needed to. I made good swings on 17 and on 18.
"You know, it just wasn't to be - I just ran out of holes."
Final scores from The Open on Sunday at Carnoustie (GBR & IRL unless stated, par 71, x denotes amateur):
276 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 70-72-65-69
278 - Rory McIlroy 69-69-70-70, Xander Schauffele (USA) 71-66-67-74, Justin Rose 72-73-64-69, Kevin Kisner (USA) 66-70-68-74
279 - Tiger Woods (USA) 71-71-66-71, Eddie Pepperell 71-70-71-67, Kevin Chappell (USA) 70-69-67-73
280 - Tony Finau (USA) 67-71-71-71, Matt Kuchar (USA) 70-68-70-72, Jordan Spieth (USA) 72-67-65-76
- Tommy Fleetwood 72-65-71-73, Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN) 70-70-70-71,
Patrick Cantlay (USA) 70-71-70-70, Webb Simpson (USA) 70-71-67-73, Ryan
Moore (USA) 68-73-69-71
282 - Jason Day (AUS) 71-71-72-68,
Charley Hoffman (USA) 71-70-68-73, Pat Perez (USA) 69-68-74-71, Alex
Noren (SWE) 70-71-67-74, Zach Johnson (USA) 69-67-72-74, Adam Scott
(AUS) 71-70-68-73, Erik Van Rooyen (RSA) 67-71-71-73
- Bernhard Langer (GER) 73-71-68-71, Phil Mickelson (USA) 73-69-70-71,
Danny Willett 69-71-70-73, Stewart Cink (USA) 72-70-71-70
284 - Chris Wood 70-74-66-74, Julian Suri (USA) 74-69-70-71, Austin Cook (USA) 72-70-67-75, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 72-70-69-73, Rickie Fowler (USA) 70-69-73-72, Patrick Reed (USA) 75-70-68-71, Thomas Pieters (BEL) 70-73-70-71
- Satoshi Kodaira (JPN) 72-71-68-74, Michael Kim (USA) 73-69-69-74,
Adam Hadwin (CAN) 73-70-71-71, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70-75-71-69
- Luke List (USA) 70-70-77-69, Kyle Stanley (USA) 72-69-69-76, Ross
Fisher 75-70-68-73, Ryan Fox (NZL) 74-71-71-70, Cameron Davis (AUS)
71-72-73-70, Brooks Koepka (USA) 72-69-75-70, Li Haotong (CHN)
71-72-67-76, Masahiro Kawamura (JPN) 77-67-71-71
287 - Brendan Steele (USA) 68-76-73-70, Tom Lewis 75-70-68-74, Yusaku Miyazato (JPN) 71-74-65-77, Sean Crocker (USA) 71-71-69-76
- Jason Dufner (USA) 75-70-68-75, An Byeong-hun (KOR) 73-71-66-78,
Kevin Na (USA) 70-73-73-72, Shubhankar Sharma (IND) 73-71-71-73, Lucas
Herbert (AUS) 73-69-69-77, Yuta Ikeda (JPN) 70-73-71-74, Bryson
DeChambeau (USA) 75-70-73-70, Tyrrell Hatton 74-71-72-71, Paul Casey
289 - Marc Leishman (AUS) 72-72-69-76
290 - Marcus Kinhult (SWE) 74-69-71-76, Brett Rumford (AUS) 74-70-72-74, Shaun Norris (RSA) 74-68-69-79, Brandon Stone (RSA) 68-72-73-77, Gavin Green (MAS) 72-73-71-74, Lee Westwood 72-72-69-77
291 - Sung Kang (KOR) 69-72-72-78, Paul Dunne 71-73-73-74, Rhys Enoch 74-71-70-76, Gary Woodland (USA) 71-72-72-76, Zander Lombard (RSA) 67-71-71-82, Matthew Southgate 69-72-73-77, Kim Si-woo (KOR) 71-72-75-73
292 - Rafael Cabrera-Bello (ESP) 74-70-76-72
293 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 74-71-74-74, Beau Hossler (USA) 73-70-77-73, Sam Locke (x) 72-73-70-78
294 - Cameron Smith (AUS) 73-71-73-77
295 - Keegan Bradley (USA) 74-71-73-77