Paul Broadhurst lost a tournament he never really stood any chance of winning at the Wales Open yesterday - but the gutsy Midland golfer still took the chance to display his Ryder Cup credentials.
Standing on the first tee at Celtic Manor, six shots adrift of Robert Karlsson, Broadhurst knew it would be a tall order chasing the Swede down. And, sure enough, despite an up and down two-over closing 71 in the surprisingly windy final-day conditions, Karlsson just about held his nerve to beat Broadhurst, in the end by only three shots.
Admittedly, it was also a day when another even more key Ryder Cup contender, Colin Montgomerie, matched Broadhurst's back-nine 31 to shoot a 67 for fourth place - his best finish in two months.
But it was the way Broadhurst came home, to finish with four birdies in eight holes, including one on the last to earn outright runners-up spot ahead of Portugal's Jose-Filipe Lima that so showed the sort of steel he has when it matters.
Of course, having partnered this year's captain when Broadhurst won his first Ryder Cup point at Kiawah Island way back in 1991, Ian Woosnam already knew just what his good friend was made of.
But to stand on the tee needing a birdie, then to hit such an excellent drive, swat a sand wedge to four feet and hole a putt worth £40,000 just on its own, was a timely reminder of the man from Atherstone's coolness under pressure.
If he can hold his nerve similarly today and keep his driver straight enough round Walton Heath when he contests the 36-hole US Open qualifying, Broadhurst will have another even sterner test ahead, at Winged Foot on Thursday week. Not that he is convinced by the sort of form that cost him three dropped shots in the first ten holes yesterday, prior to his back-nine salvation.
"I don't feel as if I'm anywhere near the top of my form," said Broadhurst, after pocketing his £166,660 cheque for second prize. "I've got a long raking draw in the bag and that's about all.
"And I'm really not sure how I'm going to perform round Walton Heath tomorrow as you've got to hit it straight there.
"In a strong wind, if it gets up like it did today, I might struggle."
But, if he does not earn one of the nine places in the field for Winged Foot, he admits, with the Ryder Cup for once on his mind, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.
"I don't want to give them any clues," he smirked. "There's going to be one or two of the younger guys on the American team who will never have heard of me. They'll be saying Paul Broadhurst? Paul Who? Who is this guy? So you never know, that might be a plus. I might be our secret weapon."
For now, Broadhurst will content himself knowing that taking his earnings for this season past the half-million mark has strengthened his place in the Ryder Cup points list. Just below him in ninth now is yesterday's winner Karlsson, whose sixth European victory equalled Anders Forsbrand's Swedish record, on top of having set a Tour record on Friday for the lowest 36-hole score.
While Broadhurst could not match his 64s of the first two days by shooting only a two-under third round 67 on Saturday, Karlsson extended his halfway lead in Broadhurst's company with a 65.
At 18 under par, to Broadhurst's 12 under, that offered him a six-shot cushion. And he found even more of a comfort zone on the long third early yesterday afternoon when Broadhurst pulled his approach left, to drop a shot, while Karlsson was birdieing to go eight shots clear.
Karlsson then bogeyed the fourth, Broadhurst the fifth and Karlsson the sixth, before suddenly they got in tandem, parring the last three of the front nine before each bogeyed the tenth.
That left Broadhurst on nine over, now only fifth and dropping fast. But, with still the chance of a big pay day on the agenda, it was time for this tough to get going.
"Stood on the 11th tee, I just felt like it was damage limitation time," he said. "I didn't feel as if I was hitting it that badly. But it was playing a lot tougher with the wind, my wedges were either long or coming up short and every bad shot I was hitting was finishing in a bad position.
"It just left me feeling I was going to shoot 76. But I played pretty solid after that. I didn't just lie down on the back nine, and finish 18th or 20th which was looking on the cards.
"I'd said to my caddie going down ten 'Let's try and knock it back in 30' and I would have done that if I hadn't bogeyed ten."
Despite having missed the cut in four of his last eight events, Broadhurst is showing that, Wentworth apart, he knows how to handle the weekend, this being his third finish in the top two in little over four months. The only disappointment was that, having teed off with Karlsson on Saturday lunchtime four shots adrift, the closest he got to him was yesterday on the last.
"Somebody needed to put him under pressure," said Broadhurst. "And nobody did. "It might have been a bit different if I'd got off to a good start, which I didn't.
"But although Robert didn't play quite so well today, he's played really well throughout the week and deserved to win."