They were singing sad songs in the Valleys last night as Bradley Dredge's nerve failed him in his quest to become the first Welsh winner of the Celtic Manor Wales Open.
Dredge's dalliance with a fairway bunker after his drive drifted right down the 18th cost him the £250,000 first prize to Manchester-based South African Richard Sterne, who had just ten minutes earlier birdied the same hole.
Disappointment for the man from nearby Tredegar, who had delighted the home galleries by bouncing back from two bogeys early in his round to string together the five birdies that briefly earned him back the lead. But, while his failings on the final hole earned 25-year-old Sterne only his second European Tour title, of the three Midlanders in contention on the final day, Paul Broadhurst and Tom Whitehouse both also had cause for a rueful lament in the car on their way home.
Both picked up their biggest pay cheque of the year, for £29,775, in a six-man tie for eighth place. But both had chances to win, Broadhurst, second in this event last year, missing out on final day glory for the second Sunday running.
After shooting a five-under final day 64, Whitehouse's tale was a cruel one.
It was his best finish since also finishing tied for eighth at The Belfry in the Quinn Direct British Masters just over a year ago, when he trousered the biggest cheque of his career, for £40,000. Had his birdie effort at the 18th rolled another half an inch to earn a share of sixth place (and a cheque for 45,000) then this week's work would have topped that.
Despite reading the break perfectly on a tricky, 10-foot right-to-left slightly downhill putt, it stopped on the very edge of the hole - to cost him more than £15,000.
The killer really for the young man from Coleshill, though, was the 17th. Back-to-back birdies at the short 15th and long 16th had briefly given him a four-way share of the lead. But, as he waited back down the fairway at the penultimate hole, he was to suffer a double pyschological blow.
First he watched Singapore's Mardan Mamat hole from 30 yards for a birdie to go to 12 under (a lead in the clubhouse which was to last more than an hour when he then sank another long one for his par at the last). Then, Whitehouse dropped a shot to go back to ten under when he missed from seven feet.
In an almost identical position from which Dredge was to later fail in the same fairway bunker at the 18th, Whitehouse flew it all the way to the pin and 10 feet beyond - only to miss his putt.
But the financial repercussions of his near miss did not trouble the level-headed, gregarious Birmingham City fan.
"To be quite honest, I was more worried about reading that Blues are trying to sign Titus Bramble," he groaned. "You've got to take the rough with the smooth.
"And I was just really pleased about the way I played. I had a good go, I gave it everything and I really gave myself some birdie chances.
"I've only finished three shots behind the winner and I now know a bit more about what it's going to take to win one day myself. And, if I can just keep playing like this, I'm convinced I can do it."
Whitehouse had started the day five shots off the pace on five under after following his second round 65 with a 66 on Saturday.
That left him three adrift of Broadhurst, who had shot a second successive 67 to further build on his first day lead-sharing 65. But it was to be a third straight 67 for Broadhurst as the form-book for the previous three days reversed itself.
Prior to yesterday, Broadhurst, had not dropped a shot on the Roman Road course's back nine. Instead, his bogeys had all come on the front nine. And, having reached the turn with eight pars and a birdie at the fifth to go to nine under yesterday afternoon, he had good cause to be hopeful, especially when a birdie at the 10th took him to 10 under.
But he then three-putted the short 11th. He did get it back with a birdie at the next, but dropped another at the 15th. He did manage to get down in two from an awkward spot to the side of the green over a bunker for birdie at the 16th but it was still not quite enough.
"It was not as frustrating a day as last Sunday," admitted Broadhurst, who had enjoyed a two-stroke advantage over the field early in the round at Wentworth.
"But, from where I was to have had two top-20 finishes in as many weeks, and to have played pretty well for seven out of eight rounds, I've got to be relatively pleased with that."
The Belfry's other performer Rob Rock was forced to settle for being tied 52nd on level par after a closing one-over 70. Starting the day one under after a level-par 69 on Saturday, he went to the turn in level, after a run of fives holes that saw him birdie the fifth and ninth either side of bogeys at the sixth and seventh.
He then littered his card with four bogeys on the first four holes of the back nine. But a birdie two at the 15th followed by a four iron to a foot to eagle the long 16th helped him limit the damage.