Danny Willett reflected on a "pretty special moment" as he returned to Jumeirah Golf Estates to defend his DP World Tour Championship, Dubai title.
Injuries and a subsequent loss of form had seen the 2016 Masters Champion slip outside the world's top 450 at one stage in 2018 but he put all that behind him as he won the European Tour's season-ending tournament 12 months ago.
Willett saw off the challenge of Patrick Reed and Matt Wallace to win by two shots, while Jon Rahm was also among the star players attempting to hunt him down.
Another strong field will gather in Dubai this week as 50 of the world's best players do battle for the largest first prize in tournament golf, US$3million.
And Englishman Willett, who built on last year's success by winning another Rolex Series event at the BMW PGA Championship in September, is hoping to play well again this week.
He said: "It's always nice to come back and defend anywhere in the world. For it to be the final event of the year in Dubai, obviously with the new format, 50 guys here and a really strong field again this year, it's good fun.
"We'll see how the week pans out. I'm sure we'll get four great days of golf, four exciting days of golf for everyone that comes up. Hopefully on Sunday we're in a similar position.
"We weren't sure if we were going to win again with all the injuries, and it was nice to come back and do it on such a big stage against such a great field.
"Obviously coming down the stretch with Patrick and Jon Rahm posting scores, just to prove to myself that when I get in contention I'm pretty good at closing out golf tournaments and it obviously, after everything that happened, was a pretty special moment, especially with all the family here and friends.
"Any win in your career is a pretty special moment, but yeah, the bigger the event and the bigger the emotion, always makes it feel even better."