Tyrrell Hatton was pleased to put in another excellent performance at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as he missed out on history by a whisker at St Andrews.
The Englishman arrived in Scotland as the two-time defending champion and looking to join Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els as the only players to win the same European Tour event three seasons in a row.
After making four birdies in a row from the third in the final round on the Old Course at St Andrews he held a five-shot lead but four bogeys on the back nine meant he trailed Lucas Bjerregaard by two shots in the closing stages.
A Bjerregaard bogey on the Road Hole left Hatton with a 12-foot putt to force a play-off but he could not make it and had to settle for a share of second alongside countryman Tommy Fleetwood.
Despite his disappointment on Sunday, Hatton has won three European Tour titles and a Ryder Cup since his maiden win at this event two years ago, and managed to find the positives from a seventh top ten of the season.
“There's positives,” he said. “Obviously finishing second is a good effort.
"I tried my best to win it again. It would have been pretty special to have three in a row, didn't work out, wasn't meant to be.
“I started off well, scoring pretty well the front nine considering conditions were quite tough. Then just the momentum completely went after the tee-shot on ten.
“I guess my putt on the last to get in the play-off sums it up, really. Just a massive gust of wind knocks me off, pretty much lose balance on a putt, which is unfortunate.
“I'm pretty disappointed because I had a five-shot lead at one point. It was in my hands.”
Fleetwood fired a 69 but missed excellent birdie opportunities on the 16th and last that would have put him in a play-off for his second win of the season.
The reigning Race to Dubai champion moved up to second in the Rankings presented by Rolex and has not ruled out reeling in leader Francesco Molinari with some big events to come before the end of the season.
“There's still tournaments left,” he said. “Keep your head down, keep practising and keep trying to improve. We'll see at the end of the year what kind of chance we've got or where we are but it's nice to move in the right direction.
“It was nice coming down the stretch with a chance to win. I played some really good golf and fell just short. There was a lot of good stuff.
“I had a chance on 16 and 18, 18 especially. You got to 15, you feel like you've got a chance still.
“All in all a great week, really, and I've played some really good stuff. The game is obviously in a good place, take the positives from it and we go again when we play next.
“It's obviously a little bit raw when you've fallen just short but, overall, it was a lot of good stuff.”