Tom Watson's bid to make sporting history ended in heartbreak as fellow American Stewart Cink emerged victorious from a play-off to deny his compatriot a sixth British Open title at the age of 59.
At the end of what was, for the most part, a 72-hole masterclass in the art of links golf, Watson's quest to become the oldest major winner in history finally succumbed to emotional and physical fatigue over the course of the four decisive holes.
At 36, it was Cink's first major win and, after holing a 5-metre putt for a birdie on the 72nd hole to force the play-off before completing the four decisive holes in two under par, nobody could deny that he deserved it.
But this will go down as the Open which both Watson, who missed an 3-metre putt to bogey the 72nd hole when a par would have given him an extraordinary victory, and England's Lee Westwood allowed to slip from their grasp.
Westwood's chance of joining the major club evaporated as three bogeys in his last four holes left him with a closing 71 and a share of third place with fellow Englishman Chris Wood (67).