Greg Norman was philosophical after his third-placed finish in the Open.
The 53-year-old Australian led going into the final day but carded a seven-over 77 to finish six shots behind winner Padraig Harrington.
"I am disappointed, that would be an understatement," said two-time Open champion Norman.
"But what would have happened if I had won is that I would have had to be out there playing more golf. And maybe that's not what I want to do any more."
Norman, who has now led going into the final day of eight majors and won only once, added: "It probably doesn't rate as highly as the other disappointments in the majors.
"It was a tough day but I can hold my head up high. I hung in there but it was not to be.
I came here with a good attitude and a fresh approach to life and it has shone through in my game
"It was a very impressive victory by Padraig. It looked like it was getting away from him but the putt he made on 10 [Harrington parred the hole following three successive bogeys] was the one that stabilised him.
"I'm going to play the next two weeks and then do what I feel like doing when I wake up in the morning.
"I came here with a good attitude and a fresh approach to life and it has shone through in my game. I don't grind it out on the golf course any more. I just play when I want to and practice when I want to."
Norman, who won the Open in 1986 and 1993, rarely plays tournament golf these days and has numerous business interests outside the game.
He recently married American tennis legend Chris Evert who revealed during Norman's final round that he was considering not turning up at Birkdale to play.
But he put together two level-par rounds on the opening two days and led Harrington and Korea's KJ Choi by two shots going into the final round.
However, he kicked off his fourth round with three bogeys and made another at 6 as he stumbled through the front nine.
He also dropped shots at 10, 12 and 13 before holing a long birdie putt at 15, but he made bogey at the last to finish with a nine-over total of 289 and tied for third with Sweden's Henrik Stenson.
Norman will play in the Senior Open Championship at Royal Troon which starts on Thursday, where he will be among the favourites.
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