Brian Davis became the ninth first time winner on the European Tour this season when he captured the Peugeot Open de España at the magnificent PGA Golf de Catalunya, Girona, Spain. The 25-year-old Londoner from Enfield fired a closing three under par 69 for a total of 274, to win the first title and also the biggest cheque of his six-year professional career.
Davis secured a three stroke win ahead of Challenge Tour graduate Markus Brier from Austria, with Peter Baker, who established a new course record with a closing 64, and 1991 champion Eduardo Romero sharing third place.
It was a mature performance by Davis, whose previous best finish was tied third in the Algarve Portuguese Open earlier this year. He had moved smoothly into a one stroke lead after the third round with an immaculate 66 and his lead veered between one and four strokes over the final 18 holes before he secured the title and the 166,600 euro (£98,989) first prize to climb to seventh place on the Volvo Order of Merit.
Davis admitted: "I was focused all day on what I was trying to do. When Eduardo birdied the 12th it was getting a bit too close for comfort but I just tried to do what I always do, which is commit everything to the next shot. Fortunately things worked out well, although it probably won't sink in for a while."
Davis took a one shot lead into the last day over the PGA Golf de Catalunya course which received plaudits from many of the world's leading players, who were captivated by the Neil Coles-Angel Gallardo masterpiece just outside Girona.
Among the admirers was Colin Montgomerie, who started with a commendable 67 but was unable to capitalise and finished in fifth place on 279, nine under par, to move to 23rd on the Volvo Order of Merit.
Davis began the first round at 11 under par and moved three ahead of Romero with birdies at the third and fourth and reached the turn in 33. A further birdie at the tenth was to propel him to a famous victory.
Brier, No.3 on the Challenge Tour last season, produced a superb birdie two at the 16th and a delicate up and down from behind the 18th to finish runner-up and guarantee his playing rights on the European Tour in 2001 - a superb achievement from the only Austrian on Tour.
Meanwhile Baker finished with a flawless 64 to establish a new course record and finish on 10 under par, 278. The 32-year-old from Wolverhampton was a member of Europe's Ryder Cup team in 1993 - beating Corey Pavin in the singles and earning three points out of four - and he now advances to this week's Novotel Perrier Open de France with his confidence high.
"I just putted great," he said. "That's the best I've putted since 1993. I'm very pleased to get the ball running and hopefully another win is round the corner. You go through phases with your putting but seven years is too long a phase. That's taking the mickey!"