Castleknock's David Carey was looking to the positives despite the disappointment of feeling he "threw away" his chance of a maiden win in the Alps Tour's Ein Bay Open in Egypt.
The Dubliner (21) led by a stroke overnight but closed with a 73 to finish three shots behind Italy's Michele Cea on nine-under par with Naas' Conor O'Rourke a shot further back in fourth after a 70.
"I threw away the win to be completely honest," said Carey, whose double bogey at the 16th, where he pulled a three-iron that kicked into the water, then saw his bobbling par-putt lip out, proved fatal.
"I was playing great through the first 11 holes, just missed a couple of putts and then dropped some poor shots on the way home.
"But there are a million positives! I’ve made some pretty major swing changes the last few months and I could really see the impact of them. It was definitely a great experience and just need to get back at it again next week."
Those positives included a best-of-the week tally of 16 birdies — one more than the winner — and a career shot at the 17th when he knew he needed a birdie.
"I hit an 8 iron into 17 from the desert, around a tree, from a poor lie, that nearly pitched in the hole! Two putt birdie, but up there with one of the best shots I’ve ever hit," he said.
Cea birdied the 18th for a 69 and a one-shot win over compatriot Michele Ortolani on 12-under par to claim his maiden title.
"I still can’t believe it," Cea said after his victory. "I feel amazing. It was a very tight match with a friend of mine (Ortolani) until the last hole.
"I could not get a better victory than this, I could not ask for a better finish. The last putt was tough, I had a lot of pressure, I just kept my head down and it went in.
"The day was quite long because I had lots of thoughts going through my mind. Eighteen holes are long, you don’t know what’s going to happen so I just focused on what I had to do hole by hole and it paid off.
"My hands were shaking when I knew I had won the tournament. I just let go all the stress of the day, it was an amazing feeling."
Carey, who finished with a three-putt bogey, added: "It’s a very disappointing being 12 under through the eighth hole and then dropping all the way back. But overall, there are a lot of positives from the week and I will take those positives and continue to play well again next week."
It was also a good week for O'Rourke, who was left to rue that opening 73 but also enjoy shooting nine-under for the last 36 holes and the cheque for €1,920
The tour remains at Sokhna for next week's Little Venice Open, followed by the Golf Nazionale Open, 50km north of Rome.
Alps Tour, Ein Bay Open, Sokhna GC, Egypt (Par 72)
204 M Cea (Ita) 69 67 68 (€5,800);
206 M Ortolani (Ita) 66 71 69;
207 D Carey (Ire) 66 68 73 (€2,560);
208 I Cantero (Esp) 72 70 66, J Foret (Fra) 69 70 69, C O’Rourke (Ire) 73 65 70 (€1,920);
Other Irish — 219 M Dallat (Ire) 70 75 74 (€308).
Caldwell wins El Valle Open
Clandeboye's Jonny Caldwell closed with a four-under 67 to win the El Valle Open on the Evolve Pro Tour in Spain.
He finished three shots clear of Slovenian amateur Pia Babnok and Norway's Eirik Tag Johansen on seven-under par at El Valle in Murcia.
Whitehead's John Ross Galbraith slipped to 13th after a 79 with Brendan McCarroll 15th and amateur Hugh Foley tied 18th. Scores
Moynihan and O'Briain start well
On the European Tour, The Island's Gavin Moynihan opened with a one-under 71 to share 35th in the NBO Oman Open, six shots behind Paul Waring and Matthew Southgate, with Darren Clarke tied 49th after a 72.
Team Ireland's Neil O'Briain is tied for 13th, just three shots behind England's Toby Tree and South Africans Garth Mulroy, Vaughn Groenewald and JC Ritchie after opening with a four-under 68 in the Sunshine Tour's Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt.