When you have won four majors, a top-ten finish does not hold the same resonance and Brooks Koepka was left to rue a missed opportunity despite his brilliant Sunday.
Koepka set the clubhouse lead at -8 for the Championship after three birdies and an eagle on Sunday allowed him to card a superb 65, although it could have been even better after he only parred the attackable par-5 14th and missed a short birdie putt on 18.
However, the damage was really done on Saturday, where a two-over round of 72 saw him drop out of genuine title contention as he started the final round nine strokes off the lead.
And the American was not in the mood to take the positives out a week that will likely see him end in the top ten, maybe even the top five, with his winner’s mentality kicking in.
“It is definitely a missed opportunity,” said Koepka. “I did not play good enough Saturday.
“It does not really matter what I finished today, I did not have a chance to win and that is disappointing.
“I would have liked to have the putt on 18 back, birdied the par-5 14th and the 10th lipped out but I played solid today. I cannot complain, I just wish I could have yesterday back.
“I like these [major] weeks. I like when it is tough, I like when everything is on the line, I like when the most pressure is on – I enjoy that, I think it is fun and it is exciting for me.
“I think something just clicks, I focus and just understand where to hit golf shots. These are fun weeks for me.
“I would not say I competed this week, it was more of a back-door top 10 maybe, so it was not the best.”
ENJOYABLE OPEN EXPERIENCE
Although Koepka’s four major victories have all come on the other side of the Atlantic, he ranks The Open as one of his favourite events every year and enjoys the challenge of links golf.
So while there was frustration at not genuinely contending to lift the Claret Jug at Royal St George’s this week, the 31-year-old still relished the experience in front of fantastic fans.
“I like coming over here and playing links golf,” added Koepka. “It is always a bunch of fun and I have always said that it's the one tournament a year where the fans actually know what a good shot is.
“You could be 200 yards out and hit it to 30 feet and they know there is a slope there you can't miss it.
“Let's say it is left and you have got to hit it 30 feet to the right, they know that is where you are aiming. They understand a good golf shot and they understand a good round.
“It is always fun to play in front of them.”