It was yet another sun-baked day at the London Club in Kent, and tricky winds again made life difficult for the players, but the worst hit was Jeev Milkha Singh.
Overnight joint leader with eventual winner, Frenchman Christian Cevear, at nine-under 207, Jeev raised visions of another title triumph in Europe by commencing the final day’s proceedings of the European Open with a steady show on Sunday.
The slide started with bogeys on the fourth and seventh. The world No 39 couldn't have asked for a more horrendous start to the back nine as three consecutive bogeys saw him plummet. A birdie on the 13th and pars thereafter did arrest the slide but by then the title was beyond his reach. Jeev finished tied fifth with Chris Wood and Stephen Dodd at five-under 283, two strokes adrift of Cevaer.
Behind the Frenchman at six-under 282 were Alvaro Quiros, Gary Orr and Steve Webster.
Earlier, in the third round, Jeev strung together one of his finest rounds in the face of adverse conditions to move into a three-shot lead.
The Indian ace had shot a one-under 71 on Saturday that included three birdies in last four holes and four-under over last six, to move to nine-under 208. He shared the lead with Frenchman Christian Cévaër (70) going into Sunday’s last round.
But he could make much from the great position he was in.
Shiv Kapur, who began at tied 24th, and Jyoti Randhawa who began on tied 47th, ended the event at the tied 46th position.
But the highlight for Jeev was Saturday when the Indian excelled along with Cévaër. It was a day of twists and turns and as many as nine players held at least a share of the lead during the third round.
Jeev, the joint halfway leader with Cévaër's compatriot Michael Lorenzo-Vera, played the last six holes in a quite brilliant four under. And he did that by playing bold golf.
“I just got aggressive,” Jeev said. “I made a good birdie putt on 15, and then I birdied 16, hit a great shot into 17, birdied that. I think a finish like that doesn't happen too often, but I'll take it.”
On Saturday, only two players, Cévaër and Ricardo Gonzalez (73) had birdies on the 18th, while 19 others, including Jeev, had pars. The remaining 48 players shot bogeys or over and that included a quadruple bogey by Randhawa (79) and a triple by Kapur (75).
Rory McIlroy produced a superb four under par 68 to charge from 25th place overnight to joint third.
Seven-under 281: Christian Cevaer (67, 70, 70, 74),
T2 Six-under 282: Gary Orr (71, 72, 68, 71), Alvaro Quiros (71, 70, 69, 72), Steve Webster (69, 72, 70, 71),
T5 Five-under 283: Stephen Dodd (75, 70, 70, 68), Jeev Milkha Singh (67, 69, 71, 76), Chris Wood (69, 73, 68, 73),
T8 Four-under 284: Ben Curtis (68, 73, 75, 68), Marcus Fraser (69, 70, 72, 73), Soren Hansen (69, 75, 67, 73), Jose Manuel Lara (70, 68, 74, 72)
12 Three-under 285: Rory McIlroy (69, 73, 68, 75).