AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Davis Love III knows the feeling, and it never gets any easier. He's won a major championship, the 1997 PGA. He's won 13 PGA Tour titles. He's finished in the top five at The Masters, including a second in 1995.
Love is one of the world's best players, ranked third behind David Duval and Tiger Woods.
But there is something about Masters Sunday that makes the stomach churn.
Love was there to experience the butterflies again, and came up just short to Jose Maria Olazabal.
"I'm pleased to have played another Masters and to have a chance to get nervous on the weekend and to feel what it feels like," said Love, who finished two shots back.
"There's nothing like standing in the middle of the 11th fairway or on the 12th tee. There's no feeling as scary as that. I'm excited I played well, but disappointed I didn't win."
Love did, however, hit the shot of this year's Masters, a spectacular highlight-reel pitch that wasn't enough to earn him a green jacket. Only a player with the knowledge and experience of Augusta National's greens could have ever pulled off such a shot.
Love played it from behind the par-3 16th, and he purposely aimed away from the pin. He actually banked it off a slope and saw it roll back to the cup. It inched ever so slowly toward the hole, then dropped for a dramatic birdie-2.
It put Love just one shot out of the lead, and gave him hope that he could win The Masters.
"I hit it up the hill and let it do a U-turn and then begged it in the hole all the way down the hill," Love said. "When that went in and I was running up the hill and everybody was screaming, at first I was excited and shocked. Then you want them to keep screaming, because you want the other guys to hear something like that."
But the noise didn't stir Olazabal, who came to the same hole, birdied it, and went on to his second Masters victory.
Love, who shot 71, posted his fourth top-10 finish at the Masters in the past five years, and his second runner-up. He was second to Ben Crenshaw in 1995. Love received $432,000.
"I'm disappointed," he said. "You don't make as many birdies as I made and expect to finish second. But it's another step in the right direction. There's four or five guys who will say I could have won very easily and I'm one of them. It's disappointing, but I'll build on it."
Love who began the final round two shots behind Olazabal, slipped with bogeys at the second and third holes. But with birdies at the seventh and ninth holes, he was right back in the tournament.
A sore spot, however, will be his play on the par-5s. One of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, Love birdied none of the par-5s on Sunday. In fact, he needed a big save at the par-13th just to stay alive. After hitting his tee shot in the water, Love scrambled to save par with a 20-foot putt.
"It was a bad swing at the wrong time," Love said of his tee shot. "On this golf course, that will kill you. I hit a great putt there that could have been for (eagle) 3 and it was for 5."
After Love was unable to birdie the par-5 15th, he appeared to be out of the tournament. It looked worse when he hit his tee shot over the green at the par-3 16th. Then he made his magical chip shot for birdie and found himself just a shot back.
But when Olazabal followed with a birdie at No. 16, Love needed one more birdie to put the pressure on. He couldn't get it, missing an 18-footer at the last that might have made things interesting for Olazabal.
"I'm disappointed I didn't win," Love said. "I left a lot of shots out there."
Bob Harig, who covers golf for the St. Petersburg Times, writes a golf column every Tuesday for ESPN Golf Online.