His birdie putt on the 18th in regulation in the final round of the Trophée Hassan II in Agadir, Morocco, slid just past the hole, but in the end, Jaco van Zyl still managed to get into a three-way play-off.
In the end, a birdie at the second extra hole saw David Horsey overcome Rhys Davies and Van Zyl after a final round full of tension, incredible drama at the final hole sent the trio to extra holes.
Van Zyl had his best finish in a European Tour event after his fourth behind Open champion Louis Oosthuizen in the Africa Open in January.
He moves to 31st on the Race to Dubai, one of three European Tour Qualifying School graduates currently inside the top 50 Â the others are George Coetzee after his fourth place in Morocco and AustriaÂs Markus Brier.
Defending champion Davies and EnglandÂs Horsey Â who had a hole in one at the second Â exchanged blows all day at the top of the leaderboard.
With one to play, Horsey was one ahead of the Welshman and two clear of Van Zyl, but took five from the middle of the fairway and six in total.
His double bogey left Davies a four-footer for the win, but inexplicably one of the European TourÂs finest putters ran it two feet past.
Having gone into the bunker when they replayed the 18th, Horsey had to make a fine eight-foot clutch putt to stay in it after Davies missed a third putt to win Â this time from 20 feet.
Horsey pushed his approach right again on his third trip down the last, but rather than find the bunker he caught the bank on the edge of the green and rolled to three feet Â and this time he made no mistake.
Van Zyl was as surprised as anyone else at being let in through the back door for the play-off and a shot at the title.
It showed as he was not as accurate as usual off the 18th tee on the first play-off hole, but he was lucky to have a shot from the trees on the right which he put onto the heart of the green and two-putted to stay in the contest.
He was left off the tee on the second play-off hole, just short of where Horsey found himself, but his approach found the greenside bunker on the right.
Incredibly, his shot from the trap struck the flagstick, and, had that got in, he and Horsey would have had to go back to the 18th tee yet again.
In the end, he had to settle for second Â but it was something he had already done as regulation play ended.