Midlander Paul Broadhurst could only rue what might have been after he missed the chance for his second title of the season.
The Atherstone golfer could only produce a level-par final round of 70 in the Mallorca Classic at Pula but Jose Maria Olazabal produced a scintillating round of 66 for a ten-under-par total of 270.
Olazabal, who took added satisfaction in the win from the fact he is in the process of re-designing the Pula course, finished five shots clear of joint-second place trio of Broadhurst, defending champion Sergio Garcia, and fellow Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara.
Olazabal ended more than three and a half years without a victory and took a big leap towards a seventh Ryder Cup cap.
The 39-year-old, only one shot ahead overnight, charged four clear with a superb front nine of 31, stretched that to six after 11 holes.
Garcia said of Olazabal: "Yes it's his course and he has a little more knowledge of it than most of us, but at the end of the day you still have to hit the shots and hole the putts.
"It would be great if he made it back into the Ryder Cup. He's always a guy you like to have on the team."
Olazabal is now fourth in the cup standings - Garcia is second to Colin Montgomerie - and on course to return to the team next September after a gap of six years. His last match was the hugely controversial singles with Justin Leonard at Brookline in 1999.
His last title was the 2002 Buick Invitational in California and the last of his 22 European Tour victories the 2001 Hong Kong Open.
After a slump in his fortunes he has stormed back to prominence this year, losing a play-off to Phil Mickelson on the US Tour and finishing third in the Open at St Andrews.
His win made amends for what happened in this event two years ago. He led by two with two to play, but drove out of bounds on the 17th, double-bogeyed and then bogeyed the last to lose by one to Miguel Angel Jimenez.
This time he had even more strokes in hand and the pressure was off. Even when he bogeyed the short 13th there was no need to panic - and he did not.
Broadhurst, who had clinched his first Tour win in a decade when he won the Portugal Open winner in April, was level when he made a 12-foot birdie putt on the short second. He and Olazabal both birdied the 383-yard fourth, but then the tide turned.
The two-time US Masters champion made it a hat-trick of birdies and added another on the par-three ninth, while Broadhurst bogeyed the eighth and tenth.
Both then played the remaining holes in regulation as Olazabal was able to savour his victory.
The day also decided who stayed on the European Tour for another year - and there was delight for England's Sam Little and bitter disappointment for Scot David Drysdale.
Others who failed to save their places on tour included former Ryder Cup Swede Jarmo Sandelin and Drysdale's fellow Scot Raymond Russell
Andrew Coltart had the lowest round of the week, a seven-under-par 63 which he described as "a lovely way to put the season to bed".
Coltart, who finished twounder and has not qualified for the Volvo Masters, turned in 29 and when he birdied the tenth and 11th as well to be eight-under something really special loomed. But he played the last seven holes in one over.
His 63 does not count as a course record because placing of the ball was allowed all week on the wet fairways.
Droitwich golfer John Bickerton, winner of the Abama Open de Canarias a fortnight ago, continued his run of good form with a tied 11th place. His final-round 70 left him two-under, alongside Hereford's David Park who carded a 68. Robert Rock, from Lichfield, slipped to five-over after a four bogeys and one birdie in a frustrating 73.