Rory McIlroy expressed his frustrations following another tournament that promised so much but ultimately ended without victory at the WGC Mexico Championship.
McIlroy led after a first-round 65 but failed to find the form he needed in the final round as Patrick Reed emerged from the pack to secure a one-shot victory.
It was yet another top-five finish for McIlroy but his final ;round of 68 left him frustrated.
“Frustrating. I don't feel like I got the best out of myself," said McIlroy. "Obviously started the week well, and then I hit some loose shots, and I didn't putt as well as I needed to over the last three days. I just let a few shots get away."
McIlroy started the final round in encouraging fashion with three birdies in his opening nine holes, but a bogey on the 12th halted his progress, with a birdie on the 16th not enough to allow him to get close to Reed.
While McIlory secured a sixth consecutive top five finish, he ended up four shots behind champion Reed as he held his nerve to edge out Bryson DeChambeau.
Reed has now emerged as a strong contender to win a second green jacket at The Masters in April, with the 2018 Augusta champion in bullish mood after a win that earned him a $1.82m winners' cheque.
"It was tough out there," said Reed. "I got off to a perfect start with a birdie on the first hole, but it felt like a lot of scrambling after that," he told Sky Sports.
"To play like I did on the back nine was very pleasing. I didn't allow the frustrations of the front nine to get to me and I knew I needed to make a move and it happened on the way in.
"Putting myself in these positions time and again, I feel like I have a lot of confidence when I am in with a chance to win these big tournaments."
Reed has come under fire from his peers on the PGA Tour after he appeared to deliberately try to gain an advantage by moving sand behind his ball in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas last December, but he insisted his image as the pantomime villain does not concern him.
"For me, I just go out there and try to play the best golf I can, try to improve on and off the golf course each and every day, and if I feel like I’m doing that, then I'm living the right way and I'm working as hard as I need to be working.
"I just want to come out here and give my best and it turns out that it was good enough for the win this week."