Rory McIlroy played second fiddle to an old rival as Aaron Baddeley won the Australian Masters in a four-hole play-off.
Baddeley beat Swede Daniel Chopra in a thrilling finish as a lacklustre McIlroy finished tied 15th after a 73.
McIlroy was left in the shade in Melbourne by his English Walker Cup team mate David Horsey, who closed with a brilliant 65 to claim a share of fifth place on nine under par.
It was a disappointing end to the tournament for the Ulster kid, who was tied third midway through the tournament.
After finishing seven shots outside the play-off on six under, a disappointed McIlroy said: "I feel as though I played well and it was a solid finish but overall I am a little disappointed with how I played today.
"I really couldn't get anything going. But I am pretty pleased with my result even though I would have been nicer to get a top-10.
"I only made one birdie today and on the final day of any tournament, you're not going to make any sort of a move with just one birdie.
"It was just one of those days and thought if I got off to a good start I might have a chance but I wasn't able to do that.
"But I've got a couple of weeks at home to get things organised with my new house, buy a few Christmas presents and so on, and then it's down to South Africa.”
McIlroy will have two weeks at home before heading to South Africa with Darren Clarke for the South African Open from December 13.
And it could be some time before he plays in Australia again with plans afoot for the European Tour to cut the Australia- New Zealand swing when the co-csanctioning agreement runs out in 2009.
Europe's January to December schedule and the $10 million Race to Dubai begins in '09 and the Australasian Tour has begun talks with the Asian Tour and Japan Tour ahead of a possible three-tour merge.
Baddeley won with a par on the fourth extra hole after he and Chopra carded rounds of 70 and 71 to tie on 13 under par.
Aussie Stuart Appleby shot a 69 to snatch third place, one shot clear of veteran Peter O'Malley, who went two better with a 67.
Damien McGrane grabbed a share of 27th place in his second event of the new season after a closing 72.
McGrane said: "I enjoyed my week and I do like coming to Australia and playing these hard and fast golf courses.
"I just find overall it's good for my game as there is a lot of variety and it makes me work hard."