Simon Dyson is looking for major glory after a final hole crumble by Richard Green helped him hoover up the Irish Open title.
The Yorkshire terrier, 33, fired a closing four under 67 to set the target at 15 under par and then looked on as left-hander Green agonisingly three-putted the last to miss out on a play-off by a shot.
The Aussie left-hander rammed a 40 footer for the title 10 feet past and then missed the return to hand Dyson his fifth European Tour win, a cheque for €250,000 and a place in this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
And with pal Graeme McDowell winning the US Open last year and ISM stablemates Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke grabbing four majors in the last 14 months, he’s setting his sights on joining their elite club.
A delighted Dyson said: I’m absolutely made up. I came in playing some very good golf, but I didn’t think it would be that good. I impressed myself a little bit to be honest.”
Ranked 67th in the world and likely to get back into the top 50 today, the fourth English winner in Killarney has a taste for Major glory now after finishing 12th in last season’s US PGA and ninth in the Open at Sandwich last month.
Asked if he was inspired by his major winning pals, Dyson said: “Absolutely. It can do nothing but spur you on.
“GMac is a good friend of mine, he wins last year at the US Open and then obviously Louis Oosthuizen wins again, all ISM stable; and Schwartzel wins and McIlroy wins and Darren Clarke wins, it’s been great to be part of that, and watch the boys doing so well, winning Majors.
“It’s amazing how it does spur you on because you see what they are getting and you want a bit of it.
“I definitely have the game for it. I know that now. Just need a little bit of luck along the way. I could quite easily get into the Top-20 and you never know after that.”
Tied for the lead with Green and stablemate David Howell 11 under entering the final round, Dyson opened with seven straight pars and a birdie at the eighth to keep Green in is sights.
A great par save from six feet at the ninth allowed Dyson to turn for home just two shots behind Green, who went out in 32 to lead on 14 under par.
But Dyson drew level thanks to sensational birdies at the 10th and 11th and while he bogeyed the 13th, he birdied the 16th and hit a wedge to just three feet at the 17th to tie for the lead on 15 under.
After narrowly missing for eagle on the 16th, Green came to last needing a birdie to win but came up short with his eight iron and overhit his birdie putt from 40 feet and missed the 10 footer to force suddden death.
After signing for a 68, Green groaned: “I’m obviously disappointed with the putt at the last. I didn’t expect the eight iron to come up so short.
“I actually thought I had a shot lead coming in the last hole and I think seeing Simon at 15 added that bit of pressure over the first putt. It was a pressure putt and I hit it a bit too hard.”
A massive crowd of 23,958 brought the week’s attendance to 85,179 - an increase of 3,400 on last year.
With Clarke and Padraig Harrington missing the cut it was left to major winners McDowell and McIlroy to lead the home challenge.
In the end they finished 11 shots behind in a share of 32nd as the lesser lights took centre stage and head to the US for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the US PGA looking for better things
Peter Lawrie (69) finished six shots behind Dyson to claim the top Irishman honours and a share of eighth with overnight leader Howell (73) as Damien McGrane, Simon Thornton and amateur sensation Paul Cutler ended up ten shots off the pace in joint 21st
After closing with a 70, McDowell hailed the home fans for making the Irish Open such a massive success.
He said: “It has been a weird week. Big expectations, the four major champions here, the Irish Open, we are all excited and it just didn’t quite happen.
“But the crowds were fantastic and they really shouted us on every hole and the support was just fantastic, everything that we expected it to be.
“From my only personal point of view, I struggled on the greens and could not quite get it done at all.”
McIlroy also failed to find his putting touch and after closed with a 71 he wished he could have put on a better show for the fans.
Rory said: “It wasn’t quite the result I was looking for this week. But the crowds have been exceptional and the weather has stayed pretty nice for us.
“It’s been a good week. Just would have been nicer to shoot a couple of better scores.
“The crowd want you to do well, and you are trying to do well for them. You are trying to do well for yourself but you just try and push that a little bit harder, and sometimes that’s not a good thing on the golf course.”