When the Porche European Open teed off in Hamburg on Thursday, nobody would have predicted that a balding 39-year-old Englishman, still winless in his 285th European Tour start, would finally triumph.
But yes, after waiting 17 years for the big moment, that's exactly what journeyman Richard McEvoy finally managed to do when he dramatically drained a tricky, sliding putt from well over 20 feet at the 72nd hole of the Green Eagles Golf Club to kill talk of a four-man playoff and win by a shot from Sweden's Christofer Blomstrand, Italy's Renato Paratore and Germany's Allen John, a "profoundly deaf" but highly talented amateur whose closing 5-under 67 was the lowest of the day.
McEvoy, who astonishingly also became the first player to win on both the Challenge Tour and European Tour in successive weeks after his victory in the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge last week, closed with a slightly shaky 1-over 73 and an 11-under 277 total, but on a difficult day it was just enough to give him the most important win of his career.
"It's incredible," a beaming, starry-eyed McEvoy told the europeantour.com after his long sought-after triumph. "I've waited a long time, 17 years as a pro on and off the Tour. I'm absolutely over the moon."
Earlier, McEvoy told Sky Sports: "It was a roller coaster ride big time today. But I fought hard, I believed and even at the last I overpowered my caddie to lay it up and give myself the best opportunity to make birdie which I then managed to do."
"I've tried to enjoy my golf as much as possible. Not that I haven't been but I just needed that little bit more and it's just come up trumps."
In a tense finish that saw the fast-rising young American Bryson DeChambaeu, the joint leader with McEvoy at the start of the day and still tied with him coming down the final stretch, literally blow himself out of the water when he twice found the drink on the final hole, posted a triple bogey eight, closed with a 6-over 78, plummeted into a tie for 13th and then didn't endear himself to the golfing fraternity when he angrily brushed past the exuberant McEvoy with nothing more than a curt, split-second handshake.
Eddie Pepperell, who finished in a 6th-place tie at the British Open last week, reflected the feeling of many when he tweeted, "It has to be said, as far as classless handshakes go, that was a good one!"
Masters champion Patrick Reed, one of the other Americans who made the journey to Hamburg after last week's Open Championship, also struggled in Germany on Sunday, his closing 76 put him into a 9th place tie on 280.
Adding to the tension that gripped the closing holes was McEvoy's nervous bogey at the 17th.
It drew him back into a four-way tie for the lead and when his approach at 18 finished more than 20 feet from the pin, everyone expected that there would be a playoff - until he decided otherwise and stunned them with his final match-winning putt.
All this after rising Italian star Paratore, perhaps inspired by the recent heroics of compatriot Francesco Molinari, the first Italian to win The Open, had narrowly missed an eagle at the last that certainly would have thrown a spanner into the works
But as it was, local amateur John's stunning, final round 67 and 10-under total was matched when both Paratore (70) and Blomstrand (68) were able to birdie the 18th.
277 Richard McEvoy 70 65 69 73
278 Christofer Blomstrand (SWE) 72 67 71 68, Allen John (GER) 68 73 70 67, Renato Paratore (ITA) 72 66 70 70
279 Romain Wattel (FRA) 67 69 72 71, Hideto Tanihara (JPN) 69 70 71 69
280 Paul Casey 69 69 69 73, Matthias Schwab (AUT) 68 67 70 75
281 David Drysdale 69 67 72 73, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 70 69 72 70, Matthew Nixon 73 71 69 68, Patrick Reed (USA) 70 66 69 76
282 Wang Jeunghun (KOR) 73 65 72 72, Bryson DeChambeau (USA) 66 68 70 78, David Lipsky (USA) 69 75 68 70, Thomas Detry (BEL) 72 72 69 69, Scott Jamieson 70 71 70 71, Alexander Levy (FRA) 69 68 76 69
283 Scott Hend (AUS) 68 71 69 75, Mike Lorenzo Vera (FRA) 67 75 70 71, Matias Calderon (CHI) 71 72 69 71
284 Jose Filipe Lima (POR) 70 71 74 69, Soren Kjeldsen (DEN) 69 72 74 69, Liam Johnston 72 70 72 70, Marc Warren 73 71 67 73, Jeff Winther (DEN) 70 72 73 69, Connor Syme 68 72 72 72, Daisuke Kataoka (JPN) 71 71 71 71
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