Australian Brett Rumford has won back his European Tour card after beating 17-year-old Thai golfer Phachara Khongwatmai in the inaugural World Super 6 final at Lake Karrinyup.
Rumford proved too good in the six-hole match play final on Sunday, beating Khongwatmai 2 and 1 to win the $AU1.75 million event.
The six-time European Tour winner was clearly the standout throughout the Perth tournament.
Rumford topped the leaderboard by five shots after three days of traditional stroke play.
And his hot form continued during the knockout match play format, beating Hideto Tanihara, Wade Ormsby, Adam Bland and Phachara on the way to winning the title.
Rumford lost his European Tour card last year.
But the 39-year-old has now earned back full status until the end of next year.
His win in Perth was the first time he prevailed on the European Tour since winning back-to-back trophies in 2013.
Khongwatmai was the biggest surprise packet of the tri-sanctioned World Super 6.
The world No.206 became the youngest player to win a professional tournament in 2013 when he won the Singha Hua Hin Open as a 14-year-old.
And he would have become the second youngest player to win a European Tour event had he beaten Rumford in the final.
British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen fell just short of setting up a dream semi-final against Rumford.
The world No.25 coughed up an early lead in his match play quarter-final with Bland, before losing in an intense shootout that had to be played three times before a winner was decided.
Oosthuizen had the chance to win it on the second attempt, but his five-foot putt was wide of the mark.
West Australian Jason Scrivener also missed out on a semi-final berth after losing to Khongwatmai by two holes in their semi-final battle.
Only the top 24 golfers after round three qualified for Sunday’s match play.
If a match play round ended in a tie, the two players went head-to-head on a 90m ‘Shootout’ hole to decide the winner.
Rumford had 30cm of his small intestine removed in 2015 and he struggled to regain his form after that health scare.
Great win by Brett Rumford to regain Eurotour exemption. Not easy to do when you're knocking on the door of 40. Nice guys DO finish 1st.
— Tony Johnstone (@TonyJohnstone56) February 19, 2017
He said all of his recent battles made his win in Perth all the more sweeter, especially now that he’s got his tour card back.
“Last year was pretty tough. The year before that was even tougher with my surgery,” Rumford said.
“Only seeing my twin girls for four weeks in six months (last year). I completely fell out of love with the game, and my direction in life and everything else that goes with it.
“Once I lost my tour card, I think it just put things in perspective.
“I really missed being out there and having a main tour card. It’s really nice to get that back. I feel like I’ve got some worth as a golfer again.
“Once it’s all taken away, it’s not a nice place to be.”