Tiger Woods says not being able to convert a one-shot lead at The Open Championship into a shock 15th major title is “going to sting”.
The American led at seven under before a double bogey on 11 stalled his bid as Francesco Molinari went on to win.
Woods, 42, has not won a major since the 2008 US Open, with his career interrupted by personal problems and a serious back injury in recent years.
“I had a great opportunity,” said Woods, who shot 71 to tie for sixth.
The former world number one played himself into contention with a five-under-par 66 on Saturday – his lowest round at a major since 2011.
And two birdies on the front nine at Carnoustie on Sunday, coupled with dropped shots for overnight leaders Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, helped him take the outright lead of a major for the first time since his peak years.
Woods’ surge was accompanied by fervent support on the Scottish links, with a buzz of excitement following him around the course.
Ultimately he fell short after seeing his round derailed on the 11th, but finished five under for the tournament to post his lowest 72-hole total at a major since the 2012 Open.
“I know it’s going to sting for a little bit here – but given where I was to where I am now, I feel blessed,” he said.
“It felt great to be a part of the mix and build my way into the championship. It was a blast.
“I was saying earlier that I need to try and keep it in perspective because, at the beginning of the year, if they’d have said you’re playing The Open Championship I would have said I’d be very lucky to do that.”