Graeme McDowell’s Open dream died a death at Lytham – as he witnessed one of sport’s most dramatic collapses first hand.
Playing partner Adam Scott literally threw the British Open title away as he collapsed on the final four holes.
The Aussie threw a four shot lead away in the crushing finale to gift the trophy to South Africa’s Ernie Els.
McDowell, whose closing round 75 dropped him from second to joint fifth, was as stunned as the crowd as Scott let the Open slip from his hands.
“I mean, what can you say?” said McDowell. “It was tough to say anything to him that was going to be of any relevance.
“I said he’s a great champion and there’s many majors ahead for him. It’s just a tough beat.
“He struggled on the greens a little bit today, as we all did. The putt he missed on 16 was huge for him.
“Then he hit a great drive down the middle of 17 and with half of England right of that pin he missed it left.
“He’s going to be extremely heart-broken and disappointed, but he’s a great, great, great player and that’s what I tried to convey to him on the last green.
“Like I say, it felt like a futile exercise trying to say anything to him, but I’m sure he’s going to be unbelievably disappointed.”
McDowell felt Scott’s traumatic day put his own disappointment into perspective.
He added: “It was a tough day at the office, no doubt about it.
“But I’m not splattered on the floor right now in disappointment. I’m just a little frustrated.
“I guess my disappointment kind of seems relatively stupid. I’ve just seen a guy lose the Open Championship.”