Kuala Lumpur: For the second week in a row, it was heartbreak for Anirban Lahiri as he failed to cross the line after being in a seemingly commanding position at the end of three rounds and eventually finished tied third in the CIMB Classic here.
Lahiri, starting the final day, four shots clear of the field, dropped a crippling quadruple bogey on par-5 third hole and that in a single hole wiped away his overnight lead.
Last week Lahiri lost a play-off after seven birdies in a row in last seven holes in Macao.
Justin Thomas (64), meanwhile, birdied two of the first three holes and went ahead and then kept his foot on the pedal to retain the CIMB Classic title that he won 12 months ago.
He never let go off the lead despite a great fight back from Lahiri, who birdied fourth and eagled fifth to make amends. But they proved insufficient, as he bogeyed sixth and thereafter his putts kept burning the lips, but did not fall in enough.
The only consolation for Lahiri was a good start to the 2016-17 season, which also produced his career-best finish at tied 3rd, bettering his tied 5th at 2015 PGA Championships.
When the round ended, Thomas was 23-under and in second was Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (66) with a birdie-birdie finish for 20-under, while Lahiri tied for third with Derek Fathauer (67) at 19-under in the USD 7 million event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
While Thomas moved to the top of the FedEx Cup standings, Lahiri saw a whole lot of rewards slip by. A win would have earned a two-year exemption on PGA Tour, besides virtually ensuring a place in FedEx Cup play-offs at the end of the 2017 season as the winner got 500 points and the last place to get into play-offs in 2016 needed 408 points.
A win with a purse of USD 1,26 million would have also sealed for Lahiri a second straight Asian Tour Order of Merit and secured a move into top-50 of the World Rankings and also got him his Masters invite.
Lahiri had his woes each day -- it was back to back bogeys on last two holes in first round and a double bogey on closing hole on second day. On the third he had yet another double, but still showed great resilience for form to bounce back and lead by four.
But on the final day, the quadruple bogey on the third, where his playing partner Thomas birdied for a five-shot swing was just too much to keep the title hopes going.