European Ryder Cup star Nicolai Hojgaard hailed the perfect end to a landmark season after winning the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Sunday.
The Dane produced a late flurry of birdies in a final round of 64 to finish on 21 under par, two better than Viktor Hovland and English pair Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Wallace.
Victory in the last event of the Race to Dubai handed Hojgaard, 22, second place in the order of merit behind Rory McIlroy and lifted him into the world top 50 for the first time.
“I have to say this is probably the best golf I’ve played in a tournament because this is the strongest field of my three wins,” he said.
“The game feels good. I felt good before going out and to finish like this is pretty cool. I was hoping to make a run the last two weeks to get me close to the top 50.
“This is the sweetest way to finish a year. I can’t believe we finished on such a high note. I’m definitely going to enjoy this.
“This year has been a good one if I look back at it. The only thing that was missing was a win, and to get it this week with this field is unbelievable.”
Overnight leader Wallace, Fleetwood and Hovland were all in front at various points on Sunday until Hojgaard rattled in five consecutive birdies from the 13th.
The Ryder Cup rookie missed a birdie putt from four feet on the 18th but by then had a two-shot gap that none of the chasing trio could bridge.
Hojgaard banked £2.4m ($3m) from winning the tournament, plus a chunk of the £4.8m Race to Dubai bonus pool that is divided between the top 10 in the money list.
Defending champion Jon Rahm finished in a three-way tie for fifth with South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon.
Dutchman Joost Luiten, meanwhile, had to play part of his round with only 11 clubs after losing three of them in a tree at the ninth hole.
Riled by a wayward tee-shot, Luiten hurled his driver. It lodged in a tree, and his attempts to retrieve it by throwing other clubs at it resulted in them getting stuck too.
He played on without them and was reunited with his clubs later in the round after a volunteer got them down.
“That sums up my week nicely,” said Luiten, who finished 48th out of 50 in Dubai on three over par.
“I had just made bogey at the eighth. I was frustrated, one of those weeks nothing went my way. Lost it and threw my driver and it got stuck up a tree.
“I tried to get it out by throwing some other clubs at it and the other clubs got stuck up the tree so I couldn’t get them out.”