19-year-old Northern Irishman Tom McKibbin earned a DP World Tour card for next season after shooting a stunning closing 66 in the Challenge Tour Grand Final.
McKibbin entered this week’s event in Mallorca 15th in the second-tier tour standings and must remain in the top 20 to earn a full tour card.
After opening the rounds of 73, 73 and 70, McKibbin had work to do, having dropped to 17th in the expected standings.
However, his seven birdies, six under par 66 sealed his card for next season.
The tour pro’s nerveless round of Galgorm Castle left him with a share of sixth place, securing him a DP World Tour card as he finished 10th in the season standings.
After two opening pars on Sunday, McKibbin birdied on four of his next six holes before his only down shot of the day on the ninth saw him reach the 33-turn.
McKibbin, who like world number one Rory McIlroy hails from Holywood in County Down, took further shots with birdies on the 11th and 13th before rolling in a 10-footer for another last to seal his full tour map.
The Northern Irishman’s six-under-par tally left him three behind winner England’s Nathan Kimsey, whose one-shot triumph over compatriot John Parry and South African Bryce Easton also earned him the title Race to Mallorca while leading the general classification.
Parry and Easton’s performances also saw them sneak into the top 20 of the leaderboard, as did Frenchman Jeong Weon Ko and England’s Matthew Baldwin, who tied for fourth with seven under.
Cork man John Murphy missed a full card as his last 75 left him with seven tournament points and a projected 44th place in the season standings.
McKibbin, the 2015 Junior World Champion, turned professional 18 months ago after missing out on Walker Cup selection and also seeing his plans to undertake a college golf scholarship in the United States fail to materialize due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
His performance in Mallorca was his eighth top 10 finish on this season’s Challenge Tour with his best performances a share of third at the Cape Town Open and second place in the Irish Challenge at the K Club.
McKibbin also finished tied for 10th in the DP World Tour World Invitational at Galgorm Castle in August.