It was there for the taking for Jason Day and Adam Scott on moving day at the Masters but a raft of missed chances and a couple of critical errors conspired against Australia having any chance at a second green jacket.
The world No.5 Day and No.6 Scott were paired together in the third round and while they were starting a distant 11 shots behind impressive leader Jordan Spieth, a low Saturday could have at least given fleeting hopes.
In the final wash up, Day shot a one-under-par 71 and Scott, the 2013 Masters champion a disappointing 74, as they finished at four and one under respectively, having to crane their neck a long way to see Spieth’s lead mark of 16 under.
For Day especially, it should have been so much better.
Usually an impressive putter, Day missed seven birdie chances inside 15-feet, five of which were 10-feet or closer.
Golfers can always say ‘what if’ but if just half of them went in he’d be sitting in fifth place alone.
“When it rains it pours. I could not buy a putt today. It could have been really low because I definitely gave myself a lot of opportunities on the front nine,” Day said.
“If one of those goes in, then I know that I would be standing here with a different score, because that just kicks the momentum, that kicks a good round going.”
Scott raised the heart rate of his fans a touch with back-to-back birdies on the second and third holes and could even been forgiven for a bogey on the fourth before disaster struck.
From a reasonably innocuous lie in the first cut of ‘rough’ the 34-year-old nuked it with an eight-iron over the green into dense bushes with the end result being an unplayable penalty, a reload and a double bogey.
A poor swing on 15 found water and a sloppy drive, wedge and putt on the last earned another double.
“I played well enough for 66 today and walk away with 74. It’s just not good enough,” Scott said.
“I’ve got to figure out how you play well and have bad scores, it’s very frustrating.”
Staying with the disappointing theme Geoff Ogilvy bogeyed his final two holes to shoot 73 and land at one-over in a tie for 36th where John Senden, who needed a birdie and eagle on the 12th and 13th holes to help him shoot an even par 72, joins him.