Colin Montgomerie had one word for how he felt on the eve of his 42nd birthday yesterday - "knackered."
After finishing 42nd in the gruelling US Open in North Carolina on Sunday Montgomerie arrived home on Monday, went to Wimbledon on Tuesday and is now in Paris to try to end one of the longest barren spells of his career.
The Ryder Cup star last tasted victory in Singapore in March last year, but the £2.4 million French Open is being held on the same Golf National course where he won with two eagles in the last five holes in 2000.
Montgomerie has set himself the target of a win from one of the three events before the Open at St Andrews - and that in itself is a sign of the times.
"I used to say two. I'm getting older," said the Scot, who is still searching for the same confidence in his own game that he has in Tim Henman's.
"I left after the fourth set. I knew he was going to win."
Although he did not know he was in the US Open until he squeezed into the world's top 50 in the last counting event Montgomerie was not satisfied with how he performed at Pinehurst.
"You would hate me to say I was delighted," he added. "It was poor. Fortieth for me is no good."
This would appear a great opportunity for him to get back to winning ways, however.
With Michael Campbell pulling out in the wake of his amazing US Open win the only players in the field higher than Montgomerie on the world rankings - who is back down to 54th - are Miguel Angel Jimenez (20) and Paul McGinley (46).
McGinley is critical of the fact some tees have been pushed back, the fairways and greens are softer and there is not the same rough which last year saw Montgomerie run up a nine at the par five ninth.
"I have a bee in my bonnet about this," said the Dubliner. "I'm disappointed. For me the future of golf should be what we had last week. A premium on hitting the fairway, firm greens and a tough up and down if you don't hit them.
"I think that is how the tours, the USGA, the R&A should go forward rather than putting length, length, length on courses. That's not the answer - it plays into the hands of the biggest hitters and reduces the skill levels.
"The TV and the public pay our wages and they like to see professional golfers mess it up. Missing a green with a chip shot - when do you see that? It's great to see exciting golf like we had last week."
McGinley, who like Montgomerie finished 13 over par, flew over to the States with Campbell, played two practice rounds with him and then was a playing partner in the first two rounds.
"I saw a lot of him and I'm delighted for him. It's great for our tour and it will certainly bring us all on knowing he can go over there and win such a big title.
"We have a lot of strength in depth and there is nothing to be fearful of the American tour any more. We are no longer, in my opinion, inferior players.
"It has been slowly changing, but the Ryder Cup has shown it. We are every bit as good."
Paul Broadhurst leads off for the three-strong Midland contingent, teeing off at the tenth at 7.50am. He is followed by John Bickerton, while David Park has an afternoon tee-off time.