After 47 tournaments and hundreds of thousands of shots, a fearless blow to the 18th hole decided everything between Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood.
At stake on Sunday was the DP World Tour Championship, the season finale, the season-long Dubai race, and a £ 2.26 million gap between the spoils of the winner and runner-up, who had to settle for £ 1.6m.
In the recording area, Fleetwood had done everything he could. As last week in South Africa, he had published a wonderful 65-year-old final round, with four little birds in the last five holes.
Jon Rahm landed a lucrative £ 3.9 million payday after winning the DP World Tour Championship
Spaniard poses with his DP World Tour Championship and Race to Dubai trophies
Rahm became second Spaniard to win order of merit after Seve Ballesteros
The 25-year-old produced a brilliant shot on the 18th to help finish work on Sunday.
How he made Barrika's Basque sweat his chest. Rahm was clearly feeling this as he tried to become the first Spaniard to earn the order of merit, as he was known at the time, since Seve Ballesteros in 1991.
Six clear shots after an exciting start he had tripped so hard he was on par-five tee 18, needing a bird to stand in front of Fleetwood and the refreshing traveler who clung so well, Mike Lorenzo-Vera.
As Fleetwood hugged her young son Frankie, Rahm walked a beautiful path in the center of this tight fairway.
All that was left was a long iron, but it leaked straight and hit the face of a dangerous bunker on the green side.
Take this very fat blow and it would be 20 feet short. Give it a fine touch and it would end up in the water behind the flag. No room for error, in other words. So much to lose.
As the great crowd sunk and held their breath, he shot the bunker that did the Seve's memory complete justice.
All that was left was a straight shot three feet away for his vital bird to irritate the Englishman, and he was not mistaken.
Rahm postponed a thrilling charge from Tommy Fleetwood to win top prize on Sunday
Fleetwood has passed five of the last seven holes to finish a shot behind Rahm in Dubai
Lorenzo-Vera took three strokes on the back of the green to finish a shot behind Fleetwood in third place.
"I thought I'd follow in Seve's footsteps all week," confessed Rahm, 25.
I thought about the last two hours. I thought about that as I made my final shot. But I haven't processed it correctly yet. Now it is too much to think of all the great Spaniards who have not won.
Rahm said he felt like two different players – and certainly played as such. Five down after seven holes, he sank five bird strokes with a total length of 142 feet. "I didn't miss a shot and my placement was unbelievable," he reflected.
For a while later, he missed a shot while his placement fell to pieces. Three strokes out of nowhere on the ninth – the same on the 15th. Credit, therefore, for summoning Seve's spirit, as well as one of his trademarks, blows upon seeing the checkered flag.
Fleetwood was all smiles, and sincerely congratulated, and rightly so. Checks totaling £ 3.5 million for fortnightly fodder are not exactly consolation money.
Rahm celebrates his success while posing with his trophies and fiance Kelley Cahill
The best golfers never regret when they end up as Fleetwood. The series of shots he played in the stretch was in the top drawer, including a nerve-chipping chip to hit the 18th.
"I am proud of myself for playing the last holes as I did," said the Englishman. "I have finished the season now and these two weeks will allow me to see the year in a different light."
He has become the last man you want to see in your rearview mirror if you are the leader with a spin to play and a great title is at stake.
Fleetwood received a congratulatory hug from game partner Rory McIlroy, whose year ended on a muffled note when he fought for a 73. Still, fourth place meant another top 10 – his 19th out of 25 starts this season . He will be seen in mid-January at the Farmer's Insurance Open in California.
Defending champion Danny Willett continued his pleasant revival with fifth place, while Sheffield's mate Matt Fitzpatrick was also a happy man after an eagle on the 18th. Ninth place in the tournament saw him cling to fifth place in the Race to Dubai to claim the last bonus pool money – a practical sum of £ 390,000.
Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera finished two pitches behind Rahm on Sunday, 17, under par