Colin Montgomerie woke up a beaten man on Tuesday -- by his alarm clock.
For the first time since he arrived in Newport 12 days earlier, Europe's Ryder Cup captain was devoid of the stress, strain and pressure that accompanies trying to win golf's biggest team prize.
"It was the first night I had slept. I was knackered," Montgomerie said. "My alarm had gone off at 5:00 a.m. every day here, but I beat my alarm clock every morning, That was just nerves and anxiety, I think.
"This morning, I needed the alarm clock."
Montgomerie and his victorious European team celebrated into the small hours before the captain left them to it.
"They deserved to party the night away. I knew, as soon as we won, that I would be on breakfast shows from 7:00 a.m.," he added. "I am not a big drinker, to be honest with you. I have woken up with a few thick heads in my time and thought, 'That wasn't the thing to do.'
"I left about 12:30 and it was still going strong,” he said. “I left the trophy with Lee Westwood, who was on stage singing with it, and that was the last I saw of it until this morning when it came down polished and un-fingerprinted and unbashed!"
The splendid golden chalice was never far from Montgomerie's side on Tuesday as he conducted one final round of media interviews at Celtic Manor before heading home to Scotland.
And he did so accompanied by a raft of memories from the greatest week in his golfing career that culminated with Europe's thrilling 14 ½ to 13 1/2 point victory over the United States.
"I really got quite emotional in the locker room afterwards when I started reading my closing remarks ahead of the closing ceremony," he recalled. "I couldn't get them out in a practice I had in a quiet moment.
"I was going to find it very difficult to stand up in front of all those people and a television audience to get those words out. I thought I was going to find that more difficult than actually I did.
"Down in the team room we had a few presentations,” he epxlained. “There was a flag presented to me by the five vice-captains (Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal). I wouldn't have been there making a winning speech if it wasn't for them.
"There was a lovely presentation to Gaynor (Montgomerie's wife) of all the clothes that were laid out and signed by the girls, which she really appreciated,” he added. "She played the role perfectly as lady captain, a very understated role and a very important one at the same time."
And for those who thought Montgomerie had been reduced to tears by Graeme McDowell's match-clinching heroics on the 17th green, they were wrong.
"Champagne was sprayed on the 17th green and some of it went straight in my eyes," he said. "I couldn't see for about two minutes, which was a bit worrying because it got a bit of a bun-fight on 17.
"People thought I was crying. I wasn't, actually, I was trying to get the champagne out of my eyes. It stung."