DEAN Barnes said he'd proved something to himself by snatching his first ever PGA EuroPro Tour title with a dramatic sudden-death play-off victory in Suffolk.

After three rounds of the 2007 Motocaddy Championship at Ufford Park, Ferndown touring pro Barnes and Eddie Vernon (Burton-on-Trent) were tied on nine-under par.

That meant a play-off as both competitors replayed the 18th hole and Barnes held his nerve by sinking a 12-foot putt to claim a birdie, bettering Vernon's par.

"I'm over the moon," 27-year-old Barnes told the Daily Echo.

"To be honest I'm a bit taken aback by it. I haven't been playing well in the last three weeks so my expectations were low and it was nice to pull though.

"After not winning for four years you doubt if you can actually do it.

"Now I've proved to myself I can there's no reason I can't do it at the next two levels."

Barnes has been on the tour for four seasons and this was his third top 20 finish of the year after also performing well in the Irish events at Roganstown and Faithlegg in May.

The victory saw him pocket the £10,000 top prize and the result catapults him from 69th in the 2007 Order of Merit to eighth in the rankings.

He might treat himself to a break with the prize money, but only after he sorts out his finances.

Barnes said: "I think it will go on bills and unfortunately a few debts.

"I probably will go on holiday with the money left over but I haven't even thought about the money, it was secondary and a bonus."

The top five players in the Order of Merit will qualify for a 2008 Challenge Tour card and, if further incentive was required for the other competitors, the leading 50 players after two more events will qualify for the end of season Tour Championships.

Barnes is now eyeing up a top five place.

He said: "I've got two tournaments left to try and get a top five position and that's been the goal for the last few years.

"I'm looking forward to building on it and the European Tour is my long-term goal."

Barnes also wanted to thank his sponsors - Aylesworth Fleming - for their support.

The 13th out of the 14 regular 2007 events is the Ethos Recycling Classic, which takes place at the Stonebridge Golf Club in Warwickshire today and tomorrow.