Tyrrell Hatton gave himself the ideal early birthday present by achieving his childhood dream of winning the BMW PGA Championship.
Hatton carded a closing 67 at Wentworth to claim his fifth European Tour title on 19 under par, four shots clear of France’s Victor Perez.
The victory will see Hatton break into the world’s top 10 for the first time when the rankings are updated on Monday, two days before he will celebrate his 29th birthday.
“It’s unbelievable,” Hatton told Sky Sports. “This was a goal of mine to win this tournament in my career and part of me is sad I didn’t get to experience the crowds, but it’s just amazing to win this trophy.”
Hatton, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, saw his three-shot overnight lead wiped out in the space of four holes as Perez birdied the second and holed from 22 feet for an eagle on the fourth.
A birdie on the fifth edged Hatton back in front and although Perez quickly responded with a birdie on the seventh, Hatton rolled in a hat-trick of birdies from the ninth to move two shots clear.
The leading pair traded near-identical birdies on the 11th and both bogeyed the 13th after Perez had picked up a shot on the par-five 12th, but Hatton struck a decisive blow with his fifth birdie of the day on the difficult 15th.
A wild drive from Perez then led to a bogey on the 17th and left Hatton clear to enjoy the final two holes as he claimed his fifth European Tour title and the first prize of £868,000.
Former Masters champion Patrick Reed eagled the 18th for the second day running to finish in a tie for third on 14 under par with England’s Andy Sullivan, whose 65 was the best score of the day.