Sergio Garcia doffed his cap, patted his heart and blew kisses to the crowd surrounding the 18th green at Royal Liverpool after clinching what ultimately would be a fourth second-place finish at a major.

Another close call for golf's nearly man, but there were no tears and no regrets this time.

Just pride at ensuring this was no runaway for winner Rory McIlroy at the British Open.

Garcia says "everyone looks at a second (place) and wants to make it a negative, but I did almost everything I could."

Starting his final round seven shots back from McIlroy, the Spaniard closed to within two strokes of the Northern Irishman on four occasions over the back nine.

Taking two shots in a greenside bunker at No. 15 virtually ended his chances of a stunning comeback. He shot a 6-under 66.