In the end, George Coetzee came up two shots short of Augusta.
No. 69 in the Official World Golf Ranking to start the week, Coetzee could have moved inside the top 50 with a win at the European Tour's Trophee Hassan II in Morocco - but it wasn't to be.
One of 10 players to start the day within a shot of the lead, he posted an up-and-down round of 2-under 70 to finish in a six-way tie for third, two back of winner Richie Ramsay.
It was a slow start that ultimately doomed Coetzee, who traded two birdies for three bogeys on the front nine before rallying with a spotless 3-under 33 on his inward half. Still, it wasn't enough to catch Ramsay, who made seven birdies and survived a triple bogey en route to a final-round 69 and his third European Tour victory.
Coetzee moved himself into position to crack the Masters field thanks to his win at the Tshwane Open two weeks ago, which vaulted him 20 spots in the OWGR, from No. 87 to No. 67. The top 50 inside the rankings after this week earn automatic invites to Augusta.
The 28-year-old South African has thus far in his career played in just one Masters, missing the cut by a single stroke in 2013 after rounds of 75-74.