Billy Horschel has become only the second American, after the great Arnold Palmer, to win the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, following a dramatic final round at Wentworth.
After three fine rounds left him just a couple of shots off the lead, though, Adam Scott's hopes quickly faded on Sunday as he failed to join the birdie-fest around the West Course and ended up six shots behind the winner in a tie for 14th place.
In the event's key sub-plot, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton all secured the final automatic qualifying places in Europe's Ryder Cup team.
Horschel spun his approach shot at the par-five 18th back to within two feet of the cup, guaranteeing a closing birdie for a seven-under 65 and a 19-under 269 total.
"Add my name to Arnold Palmer, that's legendary stuff,” Horschel said. “That guy, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have this modern era of golf to play in front of thousands of fans and big sponsors. Tiger Woods took it to another level but Arnie is the one who started it.
RIGHT: Scott's title challenge never got going on the final day at Wentworth. PHOTO: Warren Little/Getty Images.
“So to have my name on that trophy next to his being the second American to win this event here at Wentworth is pretty special. As I said yesterday and as I said today, this event to me after I left here in 2019 was an event I wanted to win in my career before it ended and it rivals or it's equal to me in the sense of The Players. This event has historical preference. The winners of this event are legendary."
Laurie Canter had a chance to force a playoff by making birdie at the last with a putt from 15 feet but he missed right and he signed for a 67, tying him second with Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) and Jamie Donaldson (66).
Scott, back at Wentworth for the first time in 15 years, never got going after bogeying the first and sixth holes while all the other contenders were making hay. He ended with a one-under 71 and a 13-under total.
Horschel had to get over the disappointment of missing out on a captain's pick for the U.S. Ryder Cup team this week, and did so by winning his first regular event on the European Tour.
"Add my name to Arnold Palmer, that's legendary stuff." - Billy Horschel.
That will go a long way toward clinching the season-long Race to Dubai, with Horschel having already won the equivalent on the PGA Tour – the FedExCup – in 2014.
"Listen, I didn't play well enough to make enough points to be an automatic qualifier. I didn't play consistent enough over the last few months to really give myself a great chance to be picked,” Horschel said of the Ryder Cup.
“I thought I was going to get a phone call. Didn't think it was going to be a phone call that said I made the team. But it was a phone call saying, hey, you had a great year, obviously we talked, but we're going to go in a different direction.
“I didn't get that phone call. I was a little upset. I was a little ticked.”
The race for spots on the European team for the Ryder Cup went to the final round of the last qualifying event, and was predictably frantic considering so many points were on offer at the tournament.
Westwood's place was under threat the entire week but his round of 77 didn't stop him from claiming the final spot on the world points list, meaning an 11th appearance in the Ryder Cup for the 48-year-old Englishman.
Wiesberger, who shot 72, will make his Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits this month after qualifying via the European points list, along with Hatton. That bumped Rory McIlroy into the five qualifying spots on the world points list.
Jon Rahm, McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland and Paul Casey had already secured automatic spots in the team before the event.