Sweden’s Michael Jonzon proved that in golf it takes just one week to make it a great year with victory at the CASTELLÓ MASTERS Costa Azahar - his first European Tour win in 12 years.
Without a single top ten finish since December, and needing to come first or second to guarantee his European Tour card for next year, Jonzon won in Spain with a closing 18 foot birdie putt, holding off Germany's Martin Kaymer, who made a superb return to action following a long injury lay off, and compatriot Christian Nilsson.
The nerves were there for all to see as the 37 year old, 158th on The Race to Dubai and needing to climb into the top 115, lost his grip on the tournament by double-bogeying the 15th and dropping another shot at the 17th.
Kaymer, six behind with five to play, was suddenly level when he birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th - and Nilsson was 19 under par as well in the clubhouse.
When Kaymer then hit his approach to the 428 yard last to nine feet the 24 year old German looked favourite for a victory that would have taken him back to the top of The Race to Dubai - and this despite him limping all week in his first event since breaking toes in a go-kart crash in August.
But Jonzon, 482nd in the world and playing with tenth-ranked Sergio Garcia and 12th-ranked Kaymer, holed from twice as far, Kaymer missed and it was all over.
"I'm over the Moon," said Jonzon, whose only previous success in 290 Tour starts was the 1997 Portuguese Open.
"It's been desperate for me and I am kind of speechless at the moment. It's unbelievable."
The first prize of €333,330 was more than four times his previous biggest cheque in a career that goes back 16 years and includes eight trips to the Qualifying School.
"It's going to take time to let this sink in, I guess. "I'm just so thrilled to have a playing status for next year and I'm so proud of myself the way I handled these days."
One ahead overnight, he lost the lead when defending champion Garcia opened with back-to-back birdies, but the Spanish star is still looking for his first top three finish of the year after eventually finishing fourth on his home course.
Jonzon grabbed an eagle and three birdies to turn in 31 and seemed to be coasting when he birdied the long 13th while Nilsson followed six successive birdies with a bogey six there and Kaymer ran up a seven on the same hole. But getting the job done proved anything but easy.
Jonzon, round in 67 for a 20 under aggregate of 264, is now up to 65th on The Race to Dubai - and not only has a two-year tour exemption but will also qualify for the season-ending Dubai World Championship next month if he climbs five more spots.
England's Sam Hutsby, playing just his third European Tour event since turning professional after the Walker Cup last month, shared the lead when he holed his approach to the first.
But the 20 year old from Hampshire double-bogeyed the second and seventh before rallying for a tie for eighth.