Tiger Woods admits contending at the British Open felt just like the old days and was delighted his two children finally got to see what all the fuss was about.
Woods held the outright lead at Carnoustie heading into his back nine, as he looked to end his decade-long major drought, but dropped three shots in two holes and he never regained the momentum.
The 14-time major winner eventually finished three shots behind eventual champion Francesco Molinari.
However, swept along by a massive gallery cheering his every move, this was the biggest indication yet since returning from a fourth back operation that Woods can compete at the highest level again.
Daughter Sam, aged 11, and son Charlie, nine, were too young to see their dad in his pomp but they greeted him with a hug behind the 18th green.
He said: "It's pretty emotional because they gave me some pretty significant hugs there.
"To me, it's just so special to have them aware because I've won a lot of golf tournaments in my career, but they don't remember any of them."
The 42-year-old's hopes of a remarkable comeback after a turbulent spell in his life were alive and well on the back nine.
He had the outright lead at seven under as he turned but dropped three shots in two holes at the 11th and 12th and never recovered his momentum.
He added: "I was saying earlier that I need to try and keep it in perspective because, at the beginning of the year, if they'd said you're playing the Open Championship I would have said I'd be very lucky to do that."
Woods was annoyed with his slip-up after the turn but insists he would not do it differently, although he was less impressed with a spectator shouting from a hospitality box at the top of his backswing on the 18th tee.
"I flinched, but I've had things like that happen a lot in my career with people who just tried to time it," he said.
"Unfortunately, that's part of what we have to deal with. People are trying to yell out things to try to be on TV or be on social media or whatever it may be.
"But I'm a little ticked off at myself for sure. I had a chance starting that back nine to do something and I didn't do it."