A crestfallen Nick Faldo couldn't muster the magic he needed to capture a record third consecutive Masters on Sunday.
Needing to beat 43 players who were ahead of him, the Englishman shot a 2-under-par 70. Back nine bogeys killed off any chance he had to etch his name in the history books, and he finished at 6-under-par 282."I gave it a go," Faldo said. "It was disappointing. But I just didn't do much the first two days. It just wasn't to be."
Faldo gave his backers hope by making a 100-yard pitch for eagle-3 on the 555-yard second green to get to 6-under.
But he bogeyed the 205-yard No. 3 and had to sink a 20-foot birdie putt to make the turn in 34. However, bogeys at 10, 12 and 18 on Augusta National Golf Club's homeward nine killed off three consecutive birdies and his "three-peat" dreams.
Faldo started 72-73 and came back with a 67 in the third round.
"My short game just wasn't sharp enough," Faldo said. "It was hard not defending well because I could see that my short game was not what it should be. "
Faldo said his putter just didn't behave when he needed it.
"I missed five putts inside of 10 feet today," said Faldo, who won the 1989 and 1990 Masters with playoffs on the 11th green. "The greens were a lot slower than I thought they would be. I left a lot of putts short."
Faldo said his chances may have been hurt when last week's tournament at Houston was washed out.
"I needed the competition and I needed to work on my short game," he said.
Asked how he would feel putting the green jacket on someone else as the defending champion, Faldo said, "It will be a lot easier than if I lost in the playoff."