Nicolas Colsaerts beat Graeme McDowell on the final green to win the World Match Play Championship at the Finca Cortesin resort in Spain.
The victory moves the Belgian into both the world's top 50 and a Ryder Cup qualifying position.
Colsaerts was pushed all the way by McDowell, who levelled three times on the front nine and and twice halved a two-hole deficit after the turn.
The players had to battle difficult conditions, with winds gusting over 30mph.
But the 29-year-old won it on the last having led on four separate occasions in the game.
He said: "It means everything. Where do I start? I felt that I had a pretty good shot at it last year in the same format, and I was a little disappointed not to get to the final.
"Two days ago I was in my room taking a nap thinking I was going to fly home. It means so much to be here, it's fantastic.
"I played well in tough conditions. Wind like this, you know it's going to be very difficult. Graeme McDowell, he's won the US Open, so he's used to playing in tough conditions. I knew that it was going to be a tough game in conditions like these."