LEE Westwood suffered more major heartbreak last night - but at least it does not seem to be affecting him as much as it is Sergio Garcia.
Westwood’s joint third place in The Masters was the sixth top three finish he has had in his last 10 majors.
Worksop’s 38-year-old world number three, winless in 56 majors now, missed out on the play-off between eventual winner Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen by two shots - and that after fluffing a one-foot putt in his third round and then a two-footer yesterday.
“The story of the week is you have got to putt well to win The Masters and I haven’t,” said Westwood after his closing 68 for eight under par.
On his short miss at the third he added: “That is not the kind of thing that will give you confidence for the rest of the round.
“I didn’t really make that many putts, but I’ll keep plugging. I don’t feel like giving up just yet.”
Garcia is seven years younger than Westwood, but has already played 54 majors without success.
This time he came joint 12th, blowing his hopes with a Saturday 75 that had him telling Spanish reporters: “I’m not good enough. In 13 years I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to play for second or third place.”
Asked whether he really believed that after his final day 71 the former world number two said: “Do you think I lie when I talk?
“Everything I say I say because I feel it. If I didn’t mean it I couldn’t stand here and lie - like a lot of guys do.
“If I felt like I could win I would do it. Unfortunately at the moment unless I get really lucky I can’t really play much better than I played this week.”
There were eight Europeans in the last seven groups onto the course in the final round, including overnight leader Peter Hanson, but it is now 13 years since Jose Maria Olazabal became their last winner.
Westwood’s failure to convert a seven-foot eagle chance on the 15th cost him dear. The 2010 runner-up would have gone into the joint lead, but birdies at four of the last six holes came too late.
Ian Poulter and Padraig Harrington were only two and three behind when they also birdied the 15th, but by the time they finished with a bogey and double bogey respectively it was all over for them in any case.
Poulter, who took seventh place, has had to battle back from pneumonia in the past month and said: “I feel fit, I feel healthy and it looks like it could be a good summer.”
Harrington, who tied for eighth with the fast-finishing pair Adam Scott and Justin Rose, will at least get his world ranking moving in the right direction again after slumping to 96th.
“I feel I’m on an upturn in my game. I take a lot of positives out of how I played,” he commented.
Not so Rory McIlroy, who tied for 40th with an out-of-form Tiger Woods after heading into the weekend only one off the lead.
There was no repeat of his closing 80 last year, but a 77-76 finish was bad enough and the 22-year-old said: “I’ll take a couple weeks off, reflect and think about anything that I didn’t do so well.”
Luke Donald stays world number one even though his 32nd place was not what he was looking for either.