Lee Westwood was left the nearly man in Dubai again on Sunday as Rafael Cabrera-Bello, ranked 116 places below him, pulled off another European Tour shock.
Two weeks after England's Robert Rock beat Tiger Woods and the world's top four in Abu Dhabi the 27-year-old Canary Islander became the Omega Desert Classic champion with a bogey-free closing 68 at The Emirates.
Third-round leader Westwood finished runner-up in the event for the third time after failing to birdie any of the last five holes.
He does have the small consolation, however, of taking the world No 2 spot back off fifth-placed Rory McIlroy – by 0.004 ranking points.
Even at the long 18th a play-off looked likely, but off a fine drive the Worksop golfer went left of the green, chipped nearly 25 feet past the flag and missed the putt.
Scot Stephen Gallacher could still deny Cabrera-Bello as a result, but after laying up from the rough he missed his 12-foot birdie attempt.
That made the 37-year-old joint second with Westwood and means he still has only one victory on the circuit in 379 starts going back almost two decades.
Cabrera-Bello became the third Spanish winner of the title in a row after Miguel Angel Jimenez and Alvaro Quiros – Jimenez beat Westwood in a play-off – and he had to wait to see if it was good enough to put him into the 64-man Accenture World Match Play Championship in Arizona the week after next.
It was his second Tour win, the first coming with a record-equalling closing round of 60 in the Austrian Open three years ago.
"It's an unbelievable feeling and it's been a really spectacular week for me," Cabrera-Bello told Sky Sports, remembering that he began it with nine birdies in 11 holes.
"With so many big, big names I felt really proud of myself. I wanted to fight, I stayed calm, I did everything that I've read we should do in these type of situations.
"I had ups and downs of course, but overall I think I played great.
"This was the quality jump I was looking for in my game and it's offered me the opportunity to play with the world's best players."