Darren Clarke showed a welcome return to form with the putter as he closed with a six under 65 for a share of eighth place at the Castello Masters.
The Dungannon man had eight birdies and just two dropped shots, but he had started too far behind overnight leader Sweden’s Michael Jonzon, who held on to win by one from Germany’s Martin Kaymer.
Clarke’s top ten placing has helped him up to 58th in the Race to Dubai standings and if he can remain in the top 60 he will compete in the season-ending Dubai World Championship in a month’s time.
It was a remarkable return to action for Kaymer — a long-time leader of the money list — who, after almost two months out injured, has now overtaken Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai standings, going €123,070 ahead of the Ulsterman in second place.
Without a single top ten finish since December, and needing to come first or second to guarantee his European Tour card for next year, Jonzon won in Spain with a closing 18-foot birdie putt.
The first prize of €333,330 was more than four times his previous biggest cheque in a career that goes back 16 years and includes eight trips to the Qualifying School.
Kaymer had been six behind with five to play but was suddenly level when he birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th only to lose out on the title on the last.