Gareth Maybin was happy to settle for a share of second place and the biggest payday of his career as Australia’s Marcus Fraser won the Ballantine’s Championship by four strokes.
The Ballyclare man was tied for the lead with Fraser after storming to the turn in a sensational 33 shots.
But he limped home in 39 for a 72 that left him tied for second with Fraser’s compatriot Brett Rumford on eight under par. His consolation was a cheque for over €191,000 - the biggest of his career.
“It’s been pretty good,” Maybin said after his third top 10 of the season and his best finish since he finished second in the South African Open at the end of 2008.
“I didn’t really come in with a whole lot of form so to finish second is a great result any time. I didn’t play the back nine great so there are a few things there that need a bit of improvement but overall happy I’m enough.”
Fraser, 31, ended a seven-year winless streak with a final-round three-under-par 69 securing a wire-to-wire win in the weather-affected 54 hole event.
Fraser said: “It’s unbelievable. I have had a lot of chances over the last six or seven years to win and I haven’t taken them and a lot of doubt creeps into your mind and you start to question whether you should be going it.
“Probably three or four years ago I thought about giving it away just because I was playing terrible.
“My golf swing wasn’t improving, everything wasn’t getting any better so I thought I was wasting my time and you start to question whether you should playing and if you deserve to be playing and I think I went through a patch like that.”
Leading by a shot after 36 holes, Fraser made crucial par saves on back-to-back holes at Pinx GC before the turn to share the halfway lead with Maybin.
But as Maybin faded down the stretch, Fraser maintained his composure to record an impressive victory.
Graeme McDowell shared 18th place on one under after a closing 71 with Shane Lowry’s 75 relegating him to tied 40th on one over. Peter Lawrie ended on four over after a 77.