Matthew Wolff stood over the closest thing he'd find to an easy shot at Winged Foot: 103 yards away from the pin on a flat lie in the fairway.
The 21-year-old basher, who gouged his way out of the rough all week at the U.S. Open, blocked the wedge into the deep grass to the right of the 11th green. A possible birdie attempt to stay within two ended up as a par, and he fell behind by three.
It got worse from there.
The player Wolff was chasing, Bryson DeChambeau, didn't make those kind of mistakes. After carrying a two-shot lead into Sunday, Wolff shot 5-over 75. The 2019 3M Open champion finished at even-par 280 and lost to DeChambeau by six shots.
While giving all respect to DeChambeau, Wolff was hardly convinced he'd played 10 strokes worse than Saturday, when he shot 65 to take the lead.
"There were a couple shots, a couple 3-woods, that I hit that were really uncharacteristic," Wolff said. "Those were pretty bad, but, yeah, not 10 shots worse."
If part of it was his own mistakes, another part of it, in Wolff's view, were breaks that didn't go his way.
On the par-3 10th, he was standing in the deepest bunker on the course, forced to grip halfway down the shaft of his wedge to make contact to pitch the ball onto the green. That led to a bogey.
On the par-5 12th, both his and DeChambeau's drives bounced in the rough. DeChambeau's ball careened into the fairway. Wolff's lodged in the deep grass. Both players made par, but by that point, Wolff trailed by three and needed something better.
"A foot or a couple inches more, and I have a different lie, or it stays up on a ridge, or things like that, can be three, four shots," Wolff said. "If I'm that much closer to Bryson coming down the stretch, I'm sure he feels a little bit more pressure."
Wolff was trying to become the youngest player since Bobby Jones in 1923 to win America's championship. Instead, the reigning NCAA champion out of Oklahoma State ended up with his first runner-up finish — part of a two-man show that really was all about one guy, DeChambeau, by the end.