Paul Reed admitted he was stunned to have won his first ever PGA EuroPro Tour event â€“ only two years after contemplating quitting golf.
Reed (Bristol and Clifton) clinched the Audi Cork Irish Masters at The Fota Island Resort in Cork, Ireland as he finished two shots ahead of South African Darryn Lloyd.
The victory gives Reed the Â£10,000 top prize, although it was something he could not have forecasted at the start of the week.
â€œI played a practice round on Monday and sent a text message to my family saying â€˜donâ€™t bet on meâ€™ as I didnâ€™t think I hit it long enough for this course,â€ admitted Reed.
“That mightâ€™ve helped as Iâ€™ve gone out there with no expectations and thought if I played well then maybe I could get a top 20 place but my short game has just been unbelievable.
â€œIâ€™ve played tournaments where Iâ€™ve hit the ball better but the short game has been the best ever. It just seemed to work all week and I got up and down when I needed to. Iâ€™ve led a couple of times and totally messed them up but it feels really special to win this one.
â€œI made an effort to not look at the leaderboard and I just tried to play my normal game. It wasnâ€™t until I was on the 18th when I asked our scorer to radio in and find out where I was and I found out I was ahead. When it sinks in I hope this victory will give me a massive boost to my confidence.â€
Reed started Fridayâ€™s play with a one-shot lead and began his final round brightly with birdies at the second and fourth. A bogey at the fifth followed but he got back on track with birdies at the 13th, 14th and 16th.
Lloyd had already finished on -9 and a bogey at the 17th from Reed made it close but Reed made a birdie at the 18th to end on -11 and win by two shots to justify his decision to continue playing golf.
â€œI had always wanted to be a golf professional but it was just not going anywhere and I was pretty close to giving up about two years ago,â€ added Reed. â€œI had a lot of injuries as well and that has not made it easy.
â€œI have switched coaches and itâ€™s given me a new lease of life. I always felt I was capable of winning but Simon Hurley has transformed my game and made me more steady.
â€œIâ€™m not the type of person to feel sorry for myself and I just decided to give it 100 per cent and hopefully this is the start of reaping the rewards. The EuroPro Tour has a really good track record of producing top players.â€
Reed moves up to third in the Order of Merit, where the top five players at the end of the season will advance to the Challenge Tour and be one step away from playing alongside the golfing elite on the main European Tour.
An inspiration for all golfers should be the progress of Scott Jamieson, who is currently level with Graeme McDowell and has a share of the lead on the second day of the Scottish Open on the European Tour.
This comes less than two years after Jamieson was winning events on the EuroPro Tour and Reed will hope to follow in Jamiesonâ€™s footsteps.
Irelandâ€™s Niall Turner and Scotlandâ€™s Shaun McAllister (Craigielaw) both finished tied third on -8 at Fota Island with Kevin Harper (East Devon) in fifth.
The action is being filmed and Matchroom Sport will produce a two-hour highlights package that will be broadcast on Sky Sports on Wednesday, July 20.