Jeev Milkha Singh needing to par the tough par-3 final hole, dropped a double bogey and slipped from joint lead and finished tied third at the Golf Nippon Series JT Cup here on Sunday.
Defending the title he won last year, Jeev shot a final round of two-under 68 to finish at nine-under 271 while Brendan Jones of Australia fired an incredible nine-under 61 to zoom ahead and claim the title in the season-ending event.
Toru Taniguchi of Japan shot 65 and finished second with 10-under 270 but had the satisfaction of winning Japan Tour's Order of Merit, dethroning Shingo Katayama, winner for last two years.
"I played very well throughout the week. It all boiled down to the last hole, after Brendan (Jones) shot 61 and came in as the clubhouse leader at 11-under. After four birdies in five holes from 13 th to 17th, I was tied at 11-under, when we came to the final hole," said Jeev.
The 227-yard par-3 18th is the most difficult hole of the course. "It is very tough to stop the ball on the small green. I played it short and then chipped to seven feet from the flag. I missed the first putt as the green was very fast and went five feet past. Then I missed the return and ended with a three-putt for a disappointing finish," he added.
Still despite the third place finish it was a good four weeks in Japan for Jeev as he had two top-10s, the only ones for him through the year. "I am now looking forward to a break and then be ready for 2008," said Jeev.
Starting the day at seven-under, he had a birdie on second but gave it away on the very next. A birdie on sixth saw him turn in one-under, but he was back to par for the day with a bogey on tenth and he was now seven-under for the tournament.
Jones was moving up swiftly with his brilliant round that had three birdies and one bogey on front nine. On back nine, he birdied three in a row from tenth to 12th and then again from 15th to 17th and he finished with safe par on 18th.
On his part Jeev went on an overdrive with four birdies in five holes and he was tied with Jones. Needing a par, he faltered as he failed to putt a seven-footer.
"It was a tough putt, but I had to go for it to get into a play-off. It didn't happen, that's all, so now the season is over," he said.
Jones who was way back at two-under and five shots behind leaders Jeev and Hirsho Iwata had one of his best rounds to shoot nine-under and snatch the title.
Tied with Jeev in third place were Hiroshi Iwata (68), who shared lead with Jeev after third round, David Smail of New Zealand (65) and China's Liang Wen Chong (66).
Shingo Katayama, winner of Order of Merit last two seasons shot 69 and ended tied 15th.