Son of a club professional, he almost lost his life in Dubai in March 1997 when he required emergency brain surgery after collapsing in his hotel. Made a full recovery and completed a fairytale comeback, winning his maiden European Tour title in the 1998 Irish Open before ending the year by partnering Nick Faldo to England’s first World Cup triumph at Gulf Harbour in New Zealand. Had to return to the Qualifying School for the first time in a decade in 2003 but came through. Faced the possibility of another return in 2006 when he approached his final counting event – the Mallorca Classic – outside the top 118 in 120th place. But a gutsy performance saw him finish in a tie for 27th to see him safe in 117th place.