(Reuters) – A bad second shot at the final hole of the Honda Classic in Florida on Sunday cost Tommy Fleetwood a chance for his first PGA Tour victory.
Needing a birdie at the par-five to force a playoff, Fleetwood tried to fade a five-wood from 235 yards, but hit a big slice that was destined for a watery grave from the moment it left the clubface at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.
It probably did not help that a spectator seemed to yell “get in the hole” while the Englishman was still in his backswing.
“It never looked like sniffing land,” Fleetwood said.
“It wasn’t a good feeling for the next 10 minutes.
“There are fine margins in this game. Hit a shot like I did yesterday, two putts and we’re in the playoff. That’s golf.”
With the subsequent bogey, Westwood finished at four-under-par 276 for third place, two strokes behind South Korean winner Im Sung-jae.
It was the latest close call for Fleetwood, who is winless in 65 career starts on the PGA Tour, despite seven top-three finishes.
But he vowed not to be too hard on himself.
“I didn’t do much wrong really,” said the 54-hole leader, who carded a closing 71.
“Just because I’ve made bogey on the last here, you don’t have time to go away and sit and sulk about it.
“I don’t feel like I’m getting worse at golf.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Christopher Cushing)