An emotional Nick Flanagan broke down following a final-round effort at the Australian PGA Championship he says will bring much-needed relief ahead of his first child's birth next month.
Without a start on any Tour next season, the Newcastle product went shot-for-shot with Adam Scott at Royal Pines on Sunday before finishing at 10-under in a tie for third three shots behind him.
In a tournament symbolic of his career, Flanagan needed a birdie on the 17th on Friday to make the cut before an equal course record 63 on Saturday launched him into Sunday's final group.
A European Tour card was up for grabs if Flanagan, now based in San Antonio, had prevailed on the Gold Coast, but a cash injection of almost $70,000 ahead of Christmas was enough to bring home the reality of the pressures facing Flanagan.
"My wife and I really need it at the moment, so it's pretty good," he said while struggling to hold back tears.
"Over Christmas I'll actually feel like I can sit down on the couch for a couple of weeks, relax and not think about where the next cheque's coming from."
A US Amateur champion in 2003, Flanagan is now tossing up becoming a club professional but admits his sporadic bursts of form mean he keeps getting dragged back in.
"When I'm just about down, I'll have a good finish ... it's just golf," he said.
He is still without any concrete playing plans next year, with his child's impending birth likely to stop him competing in the South African Open despite earning a call-up on Sunday.
His return to form was warmly received by Scott, who has shared surfing trips and fairways with him for the past 15 years.
"I'm really happy to see Nick playing golf like that today ... I hope he takes a lot out of the last couple of weeks and gets himself back to where he wants to be," the victor said.