Mito Pereira said he felt the pressure during his painful collapse on the 18th hole, which cost him the US PGA Championship.
The Chilean has never won on the PGA Tour, but after leading by three strokes heading into Sunday's play, he appeared poised to win 2022's second major when he stepped up to the 18th tee with a one-stroke lead. It could have been a two-stroke lead, but his birdie putt on the 17th came up just inches short.
The 27-year-old sliced his tee shot on the 18th hole, the ball eventually bouncing into the small creek. A bogey would have seen him join the playoff but his approach to the green went long, and the ensuing chip also dribbled off the back of the putting surface, ending in a double-bogey.
Speaking to the media as Will Zalatoris and eventual winner Justin Thomas competed in the three-hole playoff, Pereira said he was still proud of his efforts.
"It's tough, you know, to finish like that," he said. "A really good week, but I didn't play really well today.
"I just needed to do a couple more birdies, and hit it a little bit better to win.
"I'm just happy with how the week turned out – on Monday I just wanted to make the cut, and on Sunday I wanted to win. I'll take this and learn for the future."
Mito Pereira's tee shot on the 18th.pic.twitter.com/sNZTAoYTKr— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 22, 2022
When asked about his performance on the 18th, he called it "weird", admitting he did not consider the possibility of the water coming into play.
"I was okay – it was weird," he said.
"[The drive] wasn't a good stroke, but I just wasn't thinking about the water. I thought it was weird that it went in [the water].
"I guess when you have so much pressure on your body, maybe you don't even know what you're doing."