Denmark's Thomas Bjorn insisted he would take more positives than negatives out of his Open, despite squandering a three-shot lead with four holes to play.
Ryder Cup star Bjorn lost by one shot to American rookie Ben Curtis after racking up bogeys at the 15th and 17th and a double bogey at the 16th via three attempts to get out of a greenside bunker.
The 32-year-old, who led by one shot overnight, still had a chance to force a play-off going down the last but could only manage a par.
But he believes he will come back stronger for the experience.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed. I stood on the 15th tee with one hand on the trophy and I let it go," said Bjorn.
"But you live with it and I'll go on from here and try and get a bit stronger. I've come a long way in the last three or four weeks and it's been a dramatic improvement.
"I played some of my best golf this week and came up one short.
"But I know now that I'm on the way back and I feel I've got a Major in me.
"A lot of good players have lost Major championships and you have to live with what happens and I will do that and take a lot of positives out of this week."
Bjorn's collapse began on the 15th hole when he drove into a fairway bunker, from where he was only able to make a bogey five.
With a two-shot cushion on the 16th tee, he leaked his drive right into a greenside bunker and wasted no time in splashing out.
But the ball dribbled back into the sand and he attempted the shot again, only to watch in horror as the ball repeated exactly the same path back to his feet.
At the third attempt, Bjorn forced the ball out and sunk the putt for a double-bogey five.
"It was an expensive mistake," said Bjorn.
"I tried to hit every shot into the middle of the green all day but I just got one there that got caught on the wind and just leaked off right into the bunker.
"A couple of yards left and it's to within three feet.
"And then I just hit a couple of poor bunker shots at the wrong time.
"But that's the way Open golf is. I had my good breaks this week but I had a bad one there.
"The next few days are going to be tough and I'll need some good people around me.
But it's only a game."