SOUTHEND’S Matt Southgate was thrilled to take second place at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Southgate finished on 21 under par, just one shot behind winner Victor Perez.

And Southgate was happy to hit top form in the PGA European Tour contest.

“I did everything I could do and I was quite impressed with how level headed I stayed,” Southgate told the European Tour website.

“I felt amazingly calm all day which was quite a surprise really.

“I thought I might be a bit more excited but I kept the rhythm and I didn’t really miss a long shot all day.

“If anything I hit a couple too well which went further past the flag.

“All in all, it’s been a horrible season for me and this has sorted it right out.

“It’s got me right back in the hunt for the race to Dubai and that’s the goal.”

Southgate shot rounds of 65, 66, 65 and 71 to earn himself 488,174 euros.

And that also fired out a reminder to the world’s best golfers.

“I think I’ve proven to the world this week that when I do switch it on I can mix it with the best,” said Southgate.

“I’ve beaten a hell of a lot of good players this week.

“I’ll look back on this week as a huge success and a massive achievement for my career.

“I’ve been working hard on the game and I found a lot of trust in myself.

“But I’m looking forward to some time off now.

“I’ll recharge and come back with a big finish which will hopefully include a win somewhere.”

Champion Perez has been based in nearby Dundee since last year and used all the links expertise he has gathered in his 18 months living on Scotland’s east coast to triumph.

He and Southgate were tied at the top heading into the final day and they were still locked together on the 17th tee in a two horse race that ebbed and flowed throughout the afternoon. But a Southgate bogey on the penultimate hole handed Perez the initiative.