Darren Fichardt survived a rough final round to clinch his third European Tour title as he won the St Omer open by three shots from Gary Lockerbie.
As high winds in Lumbres pushed the scores up once again, Fichardt closed with a two over par 73 and found himself under pressure from Lockerbie and Simon Wakefield as a lead that at one stage yesterday stood at eight shots almost blew away.
"It was messy today," the 37-year-old told the European Tour website.
"It definitely wasn't pretty. I was absolutely terrified and I was happy we didn't have to play any more holes.
"To win is awesome. The last four years I've had injuries and missed out at the Qualifying School a couple of times, and you wonder if you'll ever make it back.
"So it was amazing to get my card last year back at Q School, and to win on my ninth start this season is a dream come true. The exemption for next season is very welcome."
Wakefield, despite a double bogey on the fifth, had looked the most likely to catch him as he made the turn two under par on the day.
But his back nine included four bogeys - three in a row between 12 and 14 - as he slipped away.
One final bogey on the 18th then cost him a share of second place as Lockerbie came through with birdies on the 16th an 17th.
Lockerbie said: "I haven't had much luck in the past here, so this is a welcome change.
"I knew Darren would have to have a complete disaster for anyone else to win, but I knew second place was up for grabs and I'm very pleased I was able to finish well.
"This tournament is like a Major for the Challenge Tour so I'm delighted with my performance."
Fichardt finished five under par for the weekend with Lockerbie three shots back and Wakefield four.
They were the only three in the field to finish under par for the tournament with Charlie Ford, Adam Gee, Pelle Edberg and Wil Besseling tied for fourth at two over par.
Fichardt had begun the day with a five-shot lead, and admitted he needed to lean on his experience to hang on as he began to falter.
"I've been in the lead before going into the final round, so I was familiar with the feeling," he said.
"But this golf course has a lot of trouble, and if you try and play safe you can just end up in even more trouble, so I was happy to get the job done in the end.
"I was struggling with the lines and pace of putts on the greens, and my club selection was out today, but in the end I got it round and made a few good putts to save par."