CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Kisner and Hideki Matsuyama spent a lot of time atop the leaderboard at the PGA Championship.

Just not when it mattered most.

Kisner, who led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds, wound up in in a tie for seventh place.

Matsuyama finished one stroke better than Kisner, in a tie for fifth place, after sharing the 36-hole lead and starting the final round one stroke back.

“The last major of the year, and I was in contention,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter.

“All I can do is just try harder next time.”

Kisner shot a 3-over 74 and finished four strokes behind winner Justin Thomas.

Matsuyama shot 72 in the final round and finished at 5 under.

The leaderboard was full of players who have never won a major championship – of the top eight finishers, only Louis Oosthuizen arrived at Quail Hollow Club with a major title – so it seemed inevitable that someone would claim one for the first time.

Kisner and Matsuyama hoped it would be them, especially when they were part of a five-way tie for first along with Thomas, Francesco Molinari and Chris Stroud.

“I really liked the way I started out, hitting the ball solid and giving myself a lot of good looks,” Kisner said.

“(I just wasn’t) making the putts that I need to make to win major championships.”

Kisner missed six putts inside of 15 feet – three from 10 feet or closer – during his final round.

“I didn’t make the putts that I’d been making the first two days over the weekend,” he said. “A lot of misses (were) inside of 10 feet, and at some point the length is going to catch up with me and guys that hit it 30 (yards) by me are going to have an advantage if I’m not making the putts inside of 10 feet.”

Kisner shot 67 in each of the first two rounds, and his 72 in the third round was good enough to give him a one-stroke lead entering the final day, though he sensed – rightfully – that his pursuers were gaining on him.

And when he found trouble on the seventh hole – putting a shot in the water – he fell behind for the first time since Thursday.

Matsuyama fell off the pace during a turbulent back nine that included five bogeys – including one on the 16th in which his par putt lipped off the left edge of the cup.

That dropped him two strokes behind Thomas.

“The course played tough,” Matsuyama said.

“The pins were receptive, though, more than yesterday. I was just disappointed the way I played.”