By Frank Pingue
(Reuters) - Xander Schauffele had the look of a winner as he made his way around Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday until everything came crumbling down after a seemingly routine putt on the penultimate hole cruelly lipped out.
Schauffele, in the PGA Tour's first tournament back from a three-month COVID-19 hiatus, had less than three feet for par to remain tied with the co-leaders at the Charles Schwab challenge when his ball rolled around the cup and back toward him.
"Dramatic finish, I'd say, to what was pretty solid golf," said Schauffele, a four-times winner on the PGA Tour.
Schauffele, who began the day one shot clear of a tightly-packed leaderboard, still had a chance to reach the playoff but failed to convert a 24-foot birdie on the 18th and had to settle for a share of third place after a one-under-par 69.
But while Schauffele was still feeling the sting of a near-miss, he remains upbeat about his game especially given it was his first taste of competition in three months.
"Just pissed off right now, obviously," said Schauffele, who will compete next week at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
"But you know, once my head hits the pillow tonight, I'm playing really good golf and I'm playing the next two weeks, and it's kind of the same style, I guess, of play as out here."
"You've kind of got to strike it around the property and all you've got to do is make a few more putts, and I should be good to go."
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Stephen Coates)