Ashington professional Ken Ferrie says a third European Tour win has exceeded the hopes he had for success at the outset of his career.
Ferrie won a play-off against Simon Wakefield at the Austrian Open in Atzenbrugg, his first honour since 2005's European Open success.
"When I first came on tour I just wanted to win one to say I was a European Tour winner," Ferrie said.
"Yet to chalk up my third before I turn 33 is not too bad."
The 32-year-old has returned to form in recent months, having made it to the Open Championship in July at Sandwich, where he finished 70th after getting in on a late .
However prior to that, Ferrie was forced to withdraw from February's Dubai Desert Classic with an ankle injury, one setback amid top 20 finishes in South Africa and Qatar earlier in 2011.
"There have been a few dark days over the last few years," said Ferrie.
"I've never actually got there, but there have been thoughts of whether it's worth it, whether it's worth banging my head against a brick wall every week and feeling like I'm doing the right things and not getting rewarded for them.
"There's nothing worse than playing well and missing cuts.
"But my wife has been a huge influence and a few friends around me who support me good or bad."