An emotional Sam Little yesterday fought back tears as he secured his European Tour card at the last attempt in the Mallorca Classic.
All looked lost for the Londoner three weeks ago when he lay outside the top 170 on the Order of Merit with only three events left to climb into the top 117 and avoid an immediate return to the qualifying school.
But the 32-year-old was then joint seventh in the Madrid Open to qualify for the following week's Portugal Masters and, after finishing 34th there, produced the performance of his career to finish second behind France's Grégory Bourdy at Pula Golf Club.
Little revealed the birth of twin daughters Natalie and Amelia had been the turning point. "Three weeks ago, just before the babies were born, my head was all over the place," Little said after a final round of 67. "It's no coincidence that once they were born I've started playing well. I played great today. The putt on 16 for birdie was massive for me. When I holed that putt I knew that seven under par was enough for me to keep my card."
Bourdy carded three birdies and no bogeys in a closing 67 for a 12-under-par total of 268. "This is fantastic to get my first win," Bourdy said. "I started off nervously and got lucky on the first three holes to make par but after that my game was much better."