Victor Perez booked a maiden appearance in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, a Rolex Series event, after surging up the European Tour's Race to Dubai Rankings with a thrilling victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Frenchman, who graduated from the European Challenge Tour last season, was tied at the top with Englishman Matthew Southgate heading into the final round and the pair were still locked together on the 17th tee. A bogey from Southgate on the penultimate hole handed the initiative to Perez, who carded two pars to seal a first win on the European Tour at the historic Old Course, St Andrews.
"The emotions were really high all day," said Perez, who jumps from 76th to 17th in the Race to Dubai Rankings after collecting 915 points.
"It wasn't easy, Matt played amazing. I was expecting some of the guys to charge and we were fortunate that it was kind of a one on one battle on the back nine.
"Good golf is always going to put you right where you should be, I believe, in the long run, and I think it was a great opportunity, it was a great win for me, but I think it's showed me that I can do it.
"Now the question is: How much can I replicate that moving forward. Obviously, the schedule is going to be different. Knowing that I'm going to be playing the last three tournaments of the year might change how I'm going to play after Italy."
Despite missing out on a first European Tour win, Southgate makes significant strides in the Race to Dubai following his runner-up finish. The 30 year oldjumps up to 40th from 104th in the Rankings and one step closer to securing a third appearance at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Meanwhile, Englishman Paul Waring and Sweden's Joakim Lagergren finished a shot further back to share third spot in Scotland. Waring moves up 13 places to 23rd while Lagergren puts himself back in contention of reaching the top 50 in the Race to Dubai after climbing up to 65th from 120th.
Former Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood carded a closing 64 to finish three shots off the lead but his 39 under total alongside businessman Ogden Phipps saw the duo take home the team honours.
Rory McIlroy and dad Gerry also finished at 39 under but Fleetwood's solo total secured the win with McIlroy junior on 15 under in the solo event as he finished with six straight birdies.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending US$8 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest first prize in world tournament golf.