Andrea Pavan has hailed his coach and his community at home in Italy as he looks to emerge from a slumnp in form that saw him drop outside the top 1,600 on the Official World Golf Ranking.
When the Roman lifted the trophy at the BMW International Open for his second win in two years, it looked like he had finally established himself on the DP World Tour after a near decade of trying.
He graduated from the European Challenge Tour in 2011 and 2013 and the Qualifying School in 2014 and 2017, finally claiming a maiden victory at the D+D REAL Czech Masters.
Towards the end of 2019 he was in the top 65 in the world but made just three of his first eight cuts in 2020 and a closing 70 at the English Championship would be the last time he would feature on a weekend for over 12 months.
A tie for 70th at the 2021 Czech Masters ended a run of 21 consecutive missed cuts, retirements or disqualifications and, while he also made the cut the following week at the European Masters, they would be the only two weekends made all season.
"I feel like towards the end of the year, even in Valderrama, I felt like I played OK off the tee," he said of the end of 2021.
"Obviously my scores were bad. My iron game wasn't good at all but I was coming in end of the season with a lot of baggage, a lot of stuff going in my head. It's just tough."
With life on Tour not offering him the time to work on his game he felt he needed, Pavan ended his season in mid-October and headed home to Italy.
"I took time off, not time off the game but just time at home," he said.
"I felt like I was narrowing down on what was going on. My coach saw me play at the Scottish Open and then again at the Italian Open and you could see, it was fairly clear what was going on.
"Then we managed to work and improve what needed to be done and during the season, it's harder to do."
A tie for 25th in the Rolex Series at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship represented his best result since the 2019 Italian Open and now, after an opening 67 at the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, Pavan is in a position not just to make the weekend but to contend.
"Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect to play this well at Abu Dhabi or out here but I'm very pleased for how I'm handling the situation and how I've handled the last two years," he said.
"I'm just going to try to keep going. It's a process, but again, I'm pleased for how I played out here today and last week and I feel like I'm in a better spot than two weeks ago or last week.
"I'm a religious person. Back home, I have a good community with my church and there was just a lot of good time and I felt like I kind of matured through all this. Just like I did when I lost my card and struggled on the Challenge Tour.
"But this time around, my coach was saying: 'Look, last time, you never really made it on the European Tour. I mean, you made it but you didn't know if you had what it takes to win. You've won twice, so you know it now. Obviously this game, you never know, but you know you can do it'.
"He was just trying to help me and he helped me a lot."