Stephen Gallacher got the perfect 41st birthday present after a jump in the Race to Dubai stopped the candles being blown out on his season.
The Bathgate man finished as leading Scot in the £4.6 million Turkish Airlines Open, claiming a share of 26th spot on seven-under 281 after a closing 72.
The effort lifted Gallacher three spots to 57th on this season’s European Tour money-list, meaning he is almost certain to get into next week’s BMW Masters in China.
The top 60 on the Race to Dubai after that qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in the UAE, with the Ryder Cup player virtually guaranteed now to get into that as well.
“It’s pleasing that it looks as I’m now into the BMW Masters as they cut the field from 78 last year to 63, so I only had three spots to play with,” said Gallacher.
He was content with his overall performance at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal but admitted he’d been left to rue a triple-bogey 8 at the fourth on Saturday’s card and a double-bogey 6 at the ninth on his closing circuit.
“My approach was right at the flag but came up a foot short after the wind had picked up and rolled back into the water,” he said of a blow that undid earlier good in picking up three shots to get to 10-under.
“That stopped me in my tracks and but for the 8 and 6 I’d have finished in the top 10. However, there’s been some positive stuff for me this week to take out to the BMW Masters.”
That sentiment was echoed by Capital-based Richie Ramsay after he signed off with a 68 – his best score of the week – to finish joint-56th on one-under.
“That was a nice way to finish but I shot four-under without feeling I did too much so there’s room for improvement,” he said.
In an event won for the second time in three years by Victor Dubuisson, David Drysdale’s season came to an end as he dropped out of the Final Series after the first of four events.
“It was a disappointing way to finish the campaign as I played poor,” he said after a 74 to end up joint-41st on four-under.