After the high of grabbing another victory in America on Sunday, Padraig Harrington sank to his worst round in Europe for seven years yesterday.
Harrington's seven-overpar 79 in the first round of the Smurfit European Open at the K Club - the venue for next September's Ryder Cup - left him 13 adrift of South African leader Trevor Immelman.
The Dubliner was not alone in suffering a reaction to winning, however, as new US Open champion Michael Campbell returned to action with a 74.
"It was a day for fighting and I had no fight in me," said Harrington, who followed his dramatic closing eagle putt of 65ft 7in at the Barclays Classic in New York by three-putting five of his first 12 greens here.
"I can't ever remember having that many. I was mentally drained and I couldn't see the ball going in from one foot."
The world No 8 was almost ready for it, though. But for being on Irish soil, he almost certainly would not have played this week.
"There was zero preparation," he admitted. "Probably in two days, I hit 50 balls on the range and had no focus. The problem was winning last week and that's why I'm not going to get down about it."
Campbell said after his round: "I just wasn't there, to be honest. My mind was flashing back to what happened two weeks ago and I just wasn't on the job.
"The crowd was great - continuous congratulation for winning the US Open.
" It's an experience I haven't had before and one I'm not used to. Hopefully, over the next three days I can shoot low and be in contention again, but right now I just want to go home and put my feet up."
Immelman was paired with his compatriot and defending champion Retief Goosen, the man who let in Campbell for victory at Pinehurst with a last-day 81 after being three shots clear.
The two of them both shone, Goosen's five-underpar 67 leaving him just one behind.
Three birdies in the first four holes and then a 35-foot eagle putt on his ninth were certainly a quick response to what happened in North Carolina.
But the world No 5 then stalled a bit with nine successive pars while Immelman packed his seven birdies in his last 13 holes.
It was on the K Club's other lay-out that Goosen triumphed by five last year and he commented: "I think driving is a lot more important around this one.
"The thick rough makes it more difficult and on the other one the greens are a lot better."
His putting was what let him down in America and he added: "I tried a new one today. Pretty much an exact copy, but maybe just a bit different feel."
Immelman turned round a day he thought had got off to the worst possible start when he hooked his opening drive towards the out of bounds.
"I was probably lucky," he said. "I was about to hit a provisional when the guys (marshals) came running out of the trees to tell me they had found it."
Shropshire's Jonathan Lomas led the Midland charge with an impressive 68, two behind Immelman.
Steve Webster managed a one-over-par 73, two shots better off than fellow Atherstonian Paul Broadhurst who posted a 75 along with Peter Baker (Wolverhampton) and John Bickerton (Droitwich)