AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - American Chad Campbell tried to maintain a positive outlook after missing a four-foot par putt to drop out of a three-way playoff for the U.S. Masters on Sunday.
Bidding for his first major title, Campbell had been in the best position off the tee on the first extra hole, the par-four 18th, but he pushed his approach into a greenside bunker and failed to get up and down.
“I hit a great bunker shot and I just pushed the putt,” the 34-year-old told reporters after Argentina’s Angel Cabrera edged out American Kenny Perry at the second extra hole.
“It was a left-edge putt and I just kind of left the blade open.
“I was pretty excited to hit the fairway,” Campbell said of his tee shot in the playoff. “I get up there and had a perfect seven-iron and I just kind of hung it out to the right.
“I guess I was a little bit worried about turning it over and just kind of held on to it.”
Campbell, who finished second in the 2003 PGA Championship at Oak Hill, reflected on several missed opportunities over the closing stretch at Augusta National.
“I knock it on in two on 13 and left it hanging on the lip for eagle,” the four-times PGA Tour winner said after covering the back nine in two-under-par 34 for a closing three-under 69.
“On 15, I had a great look at eagle, probably no more than 15 feet, and I missed that. And on 16, I hit it in there to six feet and wasn’t able to make that either.
“I missed a lot of opportunities out there but I will take a lot of positives away from it. I played well all week and I definitely feel good about it.”
Campbell said his runner-up spot at the 2003 PGA Championship had been easier to take after fellow American Shaun Micheel had struck a brilliant seven-iron approach to two inches at the last to seal victory by two strokes.
“I hit a good shot in there and I just got beat by a better shot,” he added. “Today, I kind of blew it myself. I hit bad shots.”
Campbell applauded the course set-up after carding five birdies and two bogeys on a relatively calm, sun-splashed day in the final round.
“You know what, you could score,” he said. “Surprisingly they didn’t use some of the hard pins.
“There were some birdies out there. They made it exciting. It was very exciting. I know all of the players enjoyed it, and the weather helped out, as well.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury