Padraig Harrington suspects that dehydration cost him the Portugal Masters.
But like the deposed leader of the Race to Dubai, Rory McIlroy, he knows it was his failure to drain putts rather than liquids that ended his hopes of winning a birdie-fest at Vilamoura's Oceânico Victoria course.
Lee Westwood finally closed out a victory, his first in more than two years, when he fired a six under par 66 to finish two shots clear of Francesco Molinari (70) on 23 under par.
More importantly, he now has a healthy €209,245 lead over McIlroy in the race to become European No 1 and could move ahead of Harrington in the world rankings.
Harrington's seventh top 10 in his last eight starts could push him to fifth or sixth in the world but his solo third place on 19-under par did not prevent him from falling even further behind the leader in the Race to Dubai
A closing three-putt for a round of 67 meant the Dubliner had to settle for €187,800 and is now €1.18m behind Westwood with the Singapore Masters, the HSBC Champions and the Dubai World Championship to go.
How often is Harrington was outputted by both Paul McGinley and Colin Montgomerie? Well, it happened this week.
"I struggled all week on the greens," Harrington said. "I lost my confidence in reading them and missed a few today. I obviously couldn't afford to do that."
A third round 71 all but ended his hopes of picking up his first win since last year's US PGA. It also left him six shots behind overnight leader Retief Goosen, who limped round in 75 to finish six behind Westwood in a share of sixth.
More of a grinder than a birdie machine these days, Harrington was still wondering why he followed his second round 62 with a 71 on Saturday.
He decided to point the finger at dehydration.
"Yesterday is the round I will look back on," he said. "I drank a phenomenal amount, just not enough. My trainer was watching on TV and you can see it in your face - your eyes really."
If Harrington putted poorly then McIlroy was simply abysmal on the greens. While he hit more than 89 percent of the greens to top that statistical category, an astounding 130 of his 276 shots were putts.
He had just 28 putts in a final round 66 that could have been at least two better were it not for a double bogey six at the last. But he finished the week ranked 61st in the 68-man field for putting after taking 33 putts in the first and second rounds and a whopping 36 putts in round three.
"I am a little disappointed to be honest," McIlroy said. "Coming into the week I felt as if I was still playing very well. And I still did play very well, I just didn't hole enough putts to get myself in there with a shout.
"I was going well today but unfortunately finished with a double bogey at the last. That's the way it goes. I have a week off now and get to the Volvo World Match Play and hopefully hit it as good as I have this week, just putt a little better.
"My thoughts have been on the Race to Dubai for the past few weeks. Lee has got a very good chance to overtake me today. There are still four very good tournaments for me (Volvo World Match Play, WGC-HSBC Champions, UBS Hong Kong Open and Dubai World Championship ) to try and get to the top and I will be putting all my efforts into trying to do well in those."
It was a mixed day overall for the Irish with Rookie of the Year contender Gareth Maybin following his Saturday 65 with an out of sorts 74 to share 26th with Paul McGinley (68) on 13 under.
Irish Open champion Shane Lowry took his season's earnings to €105,811 after a 70 left him tied for 30th with McIlroy on 12 under.
Peter Lawrie's 76 relegated him from fifth to 37th with Darren Clarke a shot further back in 41st on 10 under after a 70.
Damien McGrane had 33 putts in a 73 to finish tied 45th on nine under but is certain to qualify for the Dubai World Championship as he is 53rd in the Race to Dubai with €546,182.
As for Gary Murphy, the Kilkenny man moved up one place in the money list despite missing the cut.
He's 119th following the removal from the list of Lin Wen Tang, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir and Vijay Singh but needs to finish the season inside the top 115 to keep his card.
Heading to this week's Castello Masters, Murphy is €13,086 behind 115th ranked Jyoti Randhawa of India.
With his place in the season-ending Hong Kong Open far from guaranteed, Murphy may need at least a top 30 finish at Club de Campo del Mediterráneo to keep his card.