Watched by His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, Paul Casey ended a 20-month title drought when he captured the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain.
The 33 year old Englishman's last victory on The European Tour had come in his home country in the PGA Championship at Wentworth, but he got back into the winners' circle in style after a thrilling final day at The Royal Golf Club.
Casey's final round 68 on the Montgomerie Course gave him a 20 under par total of 268 and a one shot triumph over Sweden's Peter Hanson, who played with him in the final group on the course and whose 69 for a total of 269 pushed the Englishman all the way, and Spain's Miguel Angel Jiménez who posted a closing 67.
Scotland's Stephen Gallacher was fourth while Sweden's Robert Karlsson, who will go on to defend his Qatar Masters title at Doha Golf Club next week took fifth spot but the tournament, and the final day, was all about Casey.
The now 11 time winner on The European Tour had already tasted glory twice during the week, winning the traditional curtain-raising Pro-Am on Wednesday before, in conjunction with Darren Clarke and amateur Kevin Aherne, he also won the inaugural Volvo Golf Champions Amateur-Pro Team Competition on Friday. But this was the win he truly desired.
"Somebody told me it was 20 months since I had last won but to be honest it didn't feel that long because I had six months out with injury," said Casey. "I played some very good golf in the latter half of last year and I was disappointed not to win and I wanted to put that right as soon as possible.
"Therefore it is fair to say that I am ecstatic on what turned out to be a very demanding golf course made tougher by the wind which whipped up in the afternoon," added Casey who, amongst the many plaudits he received for the win, gained an invitation to the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesín in Spain in May.
Joint runner-up Hanson made a valiant attempt to force the contest into a sudden-death play-off but was unlucky to find his ball burrowed deep in the rough to the right of the 18th fairway following his drive. He managed to propel the ball forward to the waste area to the right of the green, but again luck was against him as his ball found a difficult lie in the sand. He tried hard but could not get up and down for par, leaving him to share second place with Jiménez.
"It is tough when you catch a couple of bad breaks like that on the last hole but what can you do – it was just one of those days for me," he said. "I feel pretty happy about my game but Paul just came out a little bit better on the day."
Summing up the mood of his people who thronged the 18th green to watch the first ever European Tour golf tournament in their country, His Highness Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who presented Casey with the gleaming new trophy, said: "This has been a great tournament for everyone here. I don't think there is anywhere you can play golf amongst oil pipelines. There is always something unique in Bahrain."