Paul Dunne has given himself a superb chance of entering the season-ending DP World Tour Championship after winning his maiden European Tour event at the British Masters.
The Irishman denied a charging Rory McIlroy to capture the title in Newcastle on Sunday with a spectacular final round of 61.
The 24-year-old laid the platform for a closing 18-hole effort of nine-under-par with three birdies and an eagle in his first six holes at the Close House course in northeast England.
That gave him a combined tournament total of 20 under-par and a win by three shots from McIlroy, with Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, who had led by a shot heading to the final day, posting a 66 for third place at 16-under par.
Four-time major winner McIlroy had moved to within a shot of Dunne in shooting 63 on Sunday for a total of 17-under.
But Dunne held his nerve brilliantly and answered McIlroy’s challenge with birdies over his closing two holes, including sensationally chipping-in from well off the green at the last.
Dunne’s victory, his first in 51 tour events, helped make amends for his defeat in a play-off for the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco earlier this year.
The result sees Dunne claim 562,500 points in the process to surge from 34th to 12th place in the Race to Dubai Rankings.
McIlroy, who finished second, picked up 374,996 points to move from 10th to sixth place.
However, it’s still Tommy Fleetwood who remains at the head of the rankings with 3,771,122 points, whilst Spaniard Sergio Garcia is in second with a season-tally of 2,799,255 points and his young compatriot Jon Rahm sits in third on 2,761,857.