Italy’s Andrea Pavan produced a blistering back nine of 31 at the Albatross Golf Resort to sign for 67 and a tournament record 22 under par to win the D + D Real Czech Masters by two strokes.
Pavan, 29, ousted three-time major champion Padraig Harrington in Prague as he claimed his maiden title by two strokes and all but sealed a maiden berth in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in the process.
The former Challenge Tour player, who topped the Rankings in 2013 and is familiar with Dubai having finished tied fourth at the Challenge Tour Grand Final at Al Badia Golf Club that year, looks set for a spot in the field at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November.
The tournament is open only to the top 60 players and Pavan took a step towards appearing after claiming 195,830 points to move from 53rd place to 39th in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai rankings.
Pavan, who played back on the Challenge Tour last season before regaining his European Tour card at Qualifying School, said: “It’s amazing, it’s massive. I’ve won four times on the Challenge Tour but it was a long time ago,” said the Rome native.
“I’ll enjoy this one because it’s really hard to get and I’ll just keep working on the stuff that seems to be working and enjoy the success.
“I’m going back home tomorrow and we’re having a second baby, a little girl is coming on Wednesday. We’re really excited about that and I can’t wait to celebrate with my family.”
“Andrea is a great example of a player learning his trade on the Challenge Tour before going on to show his class on the European Tour,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International Dubai Office.
“It takes some players longer to find their feet but he’s certainly done that this season and we’re delighted that Andrea will be joining us for the grand finale of the Race to Dubai.”
Harrington and Pavan were tied for the lead heading into the final round and the esteemed Irishman looked to be on his way to his 16th European Tour title when he led by three at the turn, but a back nine of 36 saw him sign for 69 to finish two strokes back from his emphatic playing partner.
The Ryder Cup vice captain gained 130,550 points to move from 204th to 143rd in the Race to Dubai while Malaysia’s Gavin Green took third place alone for 73,555 points which moves him from 99th to 80th.
England’s Lee Slattery is on the precipice of a third DP World Tour Championship appearance – and first since 2015 – with a solid closing round of 68 to share fourth place with Scotland’s Scott Jamieson at 15 under par.
The pair each gained 54,285 points which sees Slattery move from 50th to 45th in the Race to Dubai while Jamieson improves his position from 128th to 120th.
The top three in the Race to Dubai remains unchanged with Italy’s Francesco Molinari leading the way on 4,635,909 points, the USA’s Patrick Reed in second place and reigning Race to Dubai champion, England’s Tommy Fleetwood, in third place.
The DP World Tour Championship takes place at Jumeirah Golf Estates from Thursday to Sunday, November 15-18.
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