CHORLEY golfer Nick Dougherty has agonisingly missed out on a top ten place in the European Order of Merit.

Dougherty finished well down the field in the final competition of the season - the Volvo Masters at Valderrama.

He carded 300 with rounds of 75 76 73 and 76.

And that means the former Shaw Hill golfer finished 11th in the Order of Merit, picking up just short of £1million in prize money this season.

Another young talent, Justin Rose, is European golf's new number one, eight years on from looking like he might never make it as a professional.

He beat Simon Dyson and Soren Kjeldsen with a 14-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a sudden death play-off.

Rose, still an amateur and only 17 when he came a magical fourth in the 1998 Open, began his pro career with an unbelievable 21 successive missed cuts and had to wait 11 months to earn his first penny on the course.

But he leapt from third to first on the Order of Merit with over £2million with a victory which also takes him into the world's top 10 for the first time.

"I am emotional right now," he said. "It was a hard day. I looked like losing and dug deep.

"I'm sure there's an easy way to do this stuff, but it was terrible. I made a couple of mental errors and even saw the Order of Merit slipping away.

"It's awesome to do it. Knowing that I had was a nice consolation going into the play-off, but I wanted to do it by winning the tournament.

"It's been a long road to get here. You need to win tournaments to be regarded as a great player and it would have been very disappointing if I hadn't won this."

It was his first victory since the Australian Masters last November.

With Padraig Harrington coming "only" fourth in his bid to keep his money list title - he had to be third to have a chance - Rose is now seventh in the world rankings just ahead of the Open champion.

Four strokes clear after the second and third rounds, the 27-year-old still held that advantage after 10 holes and was making the task appear no harder than a walk in the park.

But suddenly things went haywire. In two bunkers down the long 11th he ran up a double bogey seven, then dropped further shots on the 13th and 14th.

It was bad enough that he fell into a tie, but then Kjeldsen birdied the 17th to lead on his own minutes after playing partner Graeme McDowell had holed a 176-yard seven-iron for only the second albatross there in the tournament's history.

Sadly McDowell, having momentarily taken a share of the lead himself, then double-bogeyed the last to fall into a tie for fourth with Harrington.

Rose, helped by a lucky bounce out of the trees, parred the 16th and when he and Dyson both birdied the downwind 17th they were tied at two under.

However, neither made the green in three let alone two at the last and bogey fives gave Kjeldsen another chance.

After all had parred the 18th when the play-off started they went to the adjoining 10th and with Kjeldsen missing from 18 feet Rose's birdie putt ended his hopes.

Dyson was only 12 feet away but his putt to stay alive just missed and Rose grabbed the £467,644 winner's cheque along with everything else that came with it.

The first prize swept him past Harrington and Ernie Els.