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Flat back nine ends Day's Masters dream

Sport

Golf’s World No.1 Jason Day was left to lament his back-nine performances after another Masters slipped away at Augusta National.

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Starting at even par in the final round, just like eventual champion Danny Willett, Day never got going. He failed to sniff the lead at any stage, leaving him waiting at least one more year to fulfil his green jacket dream.

He started three off the pace and never got any closer, and with a ho-hum 73 faded to one-over 289 and a tie for 10th, six shots back.

It is his third top-10 at Augusta in six attempts.

Despite being eight under on the opening nine holes over four rounds, Day crashed to nine over on the final nine holes, unable to get after the scoring part of the golf course.

While the opening three rounds were buffeted by high winds, the final round, with accessible pins that gave up countless birdies and even three holes-in-one, should have been easier pickings.

But Day found just one birdie in the closing stretch on Sunday (Monday morning, Australian time) with two bogeys.

“The backside wasn’t what I would like it to be,” Day said.

“There were definite scoring opportunities if you put your ball in position, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get my ball in position.

“I came out and I just didn’t feel quite comfortable with my swing. And when you’re not quite comfortable with your swing and obviously you start thinking about it rather than trying to just get up there and look at the target and hit at it, it’s hard to kind of get anything going.”

The disappointment of another year lost was evident for Day, but he remained confident he would become a Masters champion.

“You learn most when you fail and I will be back stronger for this,” he said.

“It’s tough to win major championships. So many things and emotions go through your mind.”

Adam Scott, Australia’s only previous Masters winner, shot 76 in his final round to be 11 over for the week.

“Thursday’s round (76) was kind of the killer for me,” Scott said.

“After the slow start on that kind of draw with that wind I was just fighting to stay in there the whole time.

“If it was even par, which is only four shots, it’s not a lot, it’s a whole different story.”

Cameron Smith closed out his first appearance at Augusta with a two-over-74 to finish at 15 over.

-AAP

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