MATT Southgate missed out on claiming his first piece of silverware of the PGA European Tour season after a disappointing final round in Oman.

The Southend-born professional golfer was competing in the NBO Oman Open and was at the top of the leaderboard with just 18 holes to play.

But Southgate finished the final day three over par, which saw him drop down the standings and finish in joint ninth position.

However, the Thorpe Hall Golf Club member admitted that he was delighed to score a birdie on the ninth hole of the third round.

The 29-year-old said: “The birdie at nine was big. It takes a big heart to hit shots like that because a part of you wants to go and hide in a corner and cry.

“People say to you ‘keep going’, but I’m not going to walk in! You can do two things, you can hide behind your caddie and sulk and knock it around in level or over par, or you can take it on the chin, rise up to the challenge and try to hit good golf shots.

“That’s something I’m really proud to have done because it’s very hard to get out there and keep going, but that was definitely a turning point at nine.”

Southgate was the early leader after completing the opening round in just 65 shots and scoring a hole in one.

However, Southgate required 70 strokes to complete the 18 holes for a second time.

Although that drop in form resulted in Southgate falling in the NBO Oman Open standings, he regained his place at the summit after finishing the third round in 69 shots.

But 75 strokes resulted in Southgate dropping in the leaderboard and having to settle for joint ninth place.

As a result, Southgate completed all four rounds nine under par and walked away with prize winnings of more than £25,000.

Meanwhile, fellow Thorpe Hall member Richard McEvoy tied for 65th spot after finishing seven over par and the Basildon-born Daniel Brooks pulled out of the event prior to getting underway.