Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth admitted he was hurting as his chances of winning a Grand Slam of majors ended at The Open at St Andrews.
Spieth, 21, could not convert a birdie putt on the final hole which would have proven enough to contest a three-man play-off - won by Zach Johnson.
"Right now it's a tough feeling to be that close in a major," said Spieth.
"To be that close on our biggest stage and come up short, how many chances do you get? It's tough to swallow."
Victory at The Open would have seen Spieth take the injured Rory McIlroy's world number one position and given him the chance to become the only man to win all four majors in a season at next month's US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
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Where it went wrong?
After making seven bogeys in 61 holes, Spieth took four putts on the par-three eighth in his final round at St Andrews to record a first double-bogey of the week and slip back to 12 under.
The Texan branded it a "mental mistake" which at the time prompted a rare show of frustration from a player whose calm exterior has won many plaudits during his short career as he threw his ball angrily.
But after holing a stunning putt on 16 to reach 15 under, a bogey on the hardest hole on the course was followed by par on 18 - the most generous hole on the Old Course back nine in round four.
"Who would have thought a drive on 18 was going to be what really hurt me at the end there," he added. "It's kind of hard to not hit a good one on that hole. I just wish I had given myself a little better opportunity.
"When you look up from the ball and you're getting pelted in the face it's a hard shot, and I just tried to sling one in there and I left it 40 yards from the pin on the green there."
His putt narrowly missed and 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen followed him up the fairway to make birdie and join Marc Leishman and Johnson in the four-hole play-off.
What next for Jordan?
Though the unique opportunity a Grand Slam presented has gone, Spieth can still follow Ben Hogan in 1953 and Tiger Woods in 2000 in winning three of golf's coveted majors in a year.
"That would be the next goal as far as the history goes," added Spieth, who has missed the cut twice in his only two appearances at US PGA.
Spieth will take "a couple of weeks off" now ahead of the major which begins on 13 August and it is likely he will next compete in the week leading up to the event - at the Bridgestone Invitational - where he finished 49th as McIlroy took victory last year.
A win for him or any other American at Whistling Straits would see US players hold all four majors for the first time since 1982.