Colt Knost woke up Sunday morning brimming with confidence.
The 26-year-old arrived at Harbour Town Golf Links in second place at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, trailing Carl Pettersson by just a stroke heading into the final round. But dreams of his first PGA Tour victory went sour quickly, as the Southern Methodist product came unglued with a triple-bogey on No. 3 before settling for a third-place finish. He shot a 3-over-par 74 Sunday after firing rounds in the 60s through the first three days of the tournament.
"I honestly thought I was going to win coming into today," he said.
Knost has worked on his mental game since Qualifying School, learning how to shut out bumps in the road along the way. He held it together for a while Sunday, but more mental lapses cost him in the end.
Knost settled for second runner-up behind Zach Johnson -- still good for $387,600 -- after missing a kick-in for birdie from 3 feet on No. 17 and bogeying the final hole after his par attempt from 9 feet slid just past the hole. A second-place finish would have nettled the Dallas resident $228,000 more.
"I misread the scoreboard," he said. "I thought Zach finished at -11 and I thought I was two back, so it didn't really matter on the last one. It turns out it did. ... Could have finished solo second pretty easily, but it happens."
The first few holes proved to be his undoing. He began the afternoon with a bogey and birdie on Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, before hooking his tee shot on No. 3 into the trees, being forced to take an unplayable lie in the process. Knost's fourth shot then went long and he required three shots from there.
"It could have hit the tree and come out on the fairway," he said. "That's the kind of breaks you need to win, but it didn't happen. It didn't happen. It wasn't my week, it was Carl's."
Knost still left encouraged, however. His finish was his best so far on the tour, as he tallied a third-place tie at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in February. He believes he's earned enough to keep his tour card for 2013, which was his first goal coming into the year.
"I told all my buddies back home I was going to win (here) while I was home last week," Knost recalled. " ... I thought I was going to contend, which I did. I just didn't get it done today."