John Senden has fallen short in his bid for a second US PGA Tour victory, carding a final round of three-under-par 67 to finish two shots behind McGladrey Classic winner Chris Kirk.
Kirk survived a wild back nine at Sea Island, Georgia on Sunday to win the $A5.84 million event, making the most of a big mistake from fellow American Briny Baird that kept him winless in 365 starts on the US PGA Tour.
Kirk closed with a four-under 66 to finish at 14-under 266 for his second career win, though he received plenty of help from Baird.
They were tied for the lead playing the 18th hole when Baird drove into a fairway bunker then topped a 4-iron that went only about 90 yards and into a hazard.
Kirk only had to make par for a one-shot win over Baird (67) and South Africa’s Tim Clark (62).
“I didn’t have a really good lie but it was a do-able shot. My foot just slipped. It was a do-able shot. It really was. I didn’t do a good job,” Baird reflected.
Senden finished in a tie for fourth with Americans Scott Brown (66) and Brian Gay (67).
The Queenslander had started the final day tied third, one shot behind joint leaders Baird and Kirk and with high hopes of banking his first win in the US since claiming the 2006 John Deere Classic.
Bogeys on the fourth and 13th holes essentially put paid to that, despite a bounce back from the 42-year-old that featured birdies on holes 14 and 16, and an eagle on the par-five 15th.
Compatriot Greg Chalmers finished with an impressive final round of six-under 64 to climb into a tie for 10th.
It was a crushing loss for 41-year-old Baird, who now has six runner-up finishes since the 41-year-old first joined the PGA Tour in 1999.
Baird has talked for years about how he would rather have a consistent year of top finishes and a trip to the Tour Championship than one win and no other tournaments in contention.
Even this week, he spoke about golf being more about making money than winning trophies.
“It’s not all about winning,” Baird said on Sunday after his finish. “I’ve said that, but this hurts. This really does. This is very disappointing.”
Clark birdied his last three holes for a eight-under 62, the best score of the final round, and was on the practice range in case Kirk and Baird stumbled.
Only one of them did.