Kiwi golfer Michael Hendry has fallen just short of claiming the biggest win of his career.
Hendry finished in second at the Australian PGA Championship today, two shots behind champion Adam Scott, who shone down the stretch to claim his 30th career title, and first since March 2016.
Hendry, who came into the day two shots off the lead in third, led for a significant portion of the final round after starting his round with five birdies and just a solitary bogey through his first 10 holes, but Scott was tracking solidly, and shot to the lead after an eagle on the par-five 15th.
Battling a rib injury which had him concerned he may not even be able to take to the course for the final round, Hendry couldn't keep the pace, finishing with consecutive bogies to slide back to 11-under, and allowing Scott a pressure-free finale.
Despite the disappointing finish, Hendry can take heart from his best result in some time.
The 40-year-old has struggled on the Japan Tour of late, plummeting from a world ranking inside the top 200 midway through 2018, to a lowly 888th coming into this week.
However, he should get a bump from his performance this week, which doubled as his best showing at the Australian PGA, surpassing his fourth-place finish in 2014.
It could have been a career-best week though, as Hendry was left to rue one bad lie and some missed putts late in his round.
Trailing by two shots after Scott's eagle, Hendry produced an excellent tee shot on the par-three 16, and rolled in a birdie to reduce his deficit.
Had he managed to par the last two holes, Hendry would have ultimately ended up in a playoff, but his second shot on 17 ended up in the bunker – deep in the bunker – and with an awful lie, Hendry couldn't get up-and-down for par.
Scott also found trouble on 17, but he managed to do what Hendry couldn't, with a superb putt from off the green – in the first row of the crowd – doing enough for a brilliant up-and-down.
When Hendry couldn't get close to the pin on the 18th, his realistic chances of victory were over, and he eventually three-putted to finish at 11-under, salvaging solo second when his rivals also bogied the final hole.
Rising Kiwi star Denzel Ieremia would have also been left with mixed emotions at the end of the event.
Ieremia came into the event in hot form, having finished sixth at the NSW Open, tied for fifth at the Australian Open, and winning a local Charles Tour event with a record-breaking 29-under par for his first title as a professional.
The 23-year-old claimed another promising result, finishing in a tie for 10th at seven-under, but would have been ruing his first-round 77, which knocked him out of title contention and reduced the impact of his stellar 67, 69, 68 finish.
Ryan Fox and Josh Geary were the next-best New Zealanders, sharing a tie for 29th at three-under.