Jaco Van Zyl and Kiradech Aphibarnrat paid tribute to Victor Dubuisson after the Frenchman made three birdies in his final four holes to win the Turkish Airlines Open.
The trio were in the final group at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal on Sunday and all had spells at the top of the leaderboard as they battled it out for victory in the first event of The Final Series.
But it was Dubuisson who prevailed as he recovered from a double bogey on the fifth to come home in 32 and finish a shot clear of Van Zyl with Aphibarnrat a further shot back.
It was a great battle between the three of us out there today - Jaco Van Zyl
"I thought it was between Kiradech and I when we were going low over the front nine but then Victor played some amazing golf on the back nine and when you do that you deserve to win the tournament."
Aphibarnrat added: "I have to congratulate Victor. It was a good comeback after struggling.
"On the fifth hole, he made double on the par three, and then missed a short putt.
"Then the way he has come back on the back nine to win was strong. Nice playing."
Dubuisson was two shots behind Van Zyl as he stood on the 15th tee but he repeated his feat of 2013 when he also birdied the 15th, 17th and 18th to win his maiden European Tour title.
And the 25 year old admitted it took a "perfect" approach into the par five last to secure his closing birdie and with it a second Turkish Airlines Open title.
"On 18, I was under the presumption that Jaco would make birdie," he said. "He hit the ball so straight that 18 wouldn't be a problem for him.
"I just tried to hit a big drive because last week and this week, I was driving okay but not very long. So on this hole I had to take my chance.
"I hit a really big drive, took advantage of the good bounce, and then I had 193 yards to the hole. The wind was helping a little bit and it would normally be a good seven or a little six. I decided to hit an eight iron because of the pressure and I knew I had to land just on the beginning of the left side of the green to keep it on.
"This was just the perfect shot."
For Aphibarnrat, the third-placed finish was his third consecutive top five and, while the Thai was frustrated to finish with eight straight pars, he was happy with his week's work.
"The way I'm playing is a good start, on fire, and then in the middle of the game I slowed down a bit and to have one birdie on the back, that's not good enough to get the job done," he said.
"You look back at the last three events, I've finished all top five and this week another good week. Disappointed at the end but still a great result."
|2||VAN ZYL, Jaco||RSA||18||-21|
|4||AN, Byeong Hun||KOR||18||-19|