Rory McIlroy came up just short in a playoff at the South African Open despite a strong final round performance.
The Northern Irishman, who features in today's Sunday Independent in an in depth interview with Paul Kimmage, started the final round three behind England's Graeme Storm, but three birdies in his first eight holes narrowed the deficit to one.
The tournament then swung in two back nine holes, 13 and 14, with McIlroy making birdie at the former as Storm bogeyed the latter, which left the four-time Major champion ahead by one stroke with four to play.
McIlroy and Storm both birdied 15, while playing partner Jordan Smith eagled to move one behind McIlroy with three to play.
McIlroy faltered at the 17th, which he bogeyed after having trouble in the bunker, leaving him tied with Storm, while Smith also made bogey to drop out of contention.
McIlroy and Storm then parred 18th, sending the duo into a playoff.
The pair both made par at the first two playoff holes before McIlroy missed a seven foot par putt, handing the tournament to Storm.
Planet Rory. During those countless days spent gazing in wonder and watching from afar perhaps the strangest was that morning in May 2014, when a statement was issued announcing the end of his engagement to the tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki.