Luke Donald did not find it hard to identify the moment that his Open title hopes almost certainly evaporated at Royal Lytham.
Taking two to get out of a bunker on the 492-yard sixth led to a double-bogey six after he had climbed into the top 10 earlier in the day.
Donald had to settle for a one-over-par 71 and one under aggregate. With Tiger Woods in the hunt for the Claret Jug the weekend could also end with the Englishman losing his world number one title.
“I got a tricky lie and tried to get a little too much out of that,” he said.
“From then on it wasn’t poor play, it was just tough to get the ball close to these holes - even though there’s no wind out there and the greens are reasonably soft.
“Obviously there’s a strong wind forecast for tomorrow, but any more than six back is going to be tough to make up I think.
“It would need quite a few people going backwards.”
Asked what his mindset would be Donald replied: “Go out there and enjoy it.
“I’m probably too far back to have a chance, but as always I’ll give a go out there, give it my all.
“You never know when you’re going to learn something.”
Donald had regular caddie John McLaren back alongside him after he missed the second round to be with his wife Helen for the birth of daughter Georgina.