Thornton won the Bovey Castle Championship in Devon in the middle of June with a fantastic final round of 66 in the windy conditions, so he was a lot warmer when the EuroPro Tour caught up with him in the clubhouse at Vilamoura after his final round in the Oceanico Algarve Championship.

Portugal’s Vilamoura resort is a bit of a trek from his home club of Royal County Down, but that journey was simpler than the one to the south west of England to play at Bovey Castle.

“My preparation was bad – it took us 12 hours to get there so that made the win all the more sweet,” said Thornton.

“The first couple of rounds were OK but I couldn’t hole a putt which has been the story of my season really.

But it was windy all three days and that really suits my game – I’m used to playing in those sorts of conditions.”

Simon wins a £1,000 voucher to spend on Peak Performance’s golf range at Harrods and a specially embroidered jacket. He will join the four other winners of the Peak Performance Player of the Month in an 18-hole play-off with a prize purse of £10,000 at the end of the season.

Thornton started serenely at Bovey Castle with a level par opening round followed by a 68 to move to two under ahead of the final round, one shot behind leader Chris Hanson and tied in second spot with Graeme Brown and Gregory Bowden.

Hanson and Brown both ruled themselves out of contention with disappointing front nines leaving the door open for Bowden and Thornton. Gregory was a shot ahead as they stood on the 12th tee, but then he blew up spectacularly, taking 11. Bowden’s tournament unfolded in front of Simon’s eyes, but he held it together to record a birdie and seize the initiative.

“It egged me on to be honest,” said Simon, when asked how Greg’s 11 affected him. “I knew it put me in good shape but to be honest I didn’t really look at the Leaderboard until the 16th.

“I bogeyed 16 bit then chipped in at 17 and when I hit my driver down the middle on 18 I knew I was OK– I’d hit my irons good all week.”

Thornton birdied 17 and 18 to shoot 66 – the best round of the week – and win the tournament by four shots, scooping the £10,000 which puts him in a great position to secure a top five spot come the end of the season.

“That’s my aim – to remain consistent and get into the top five,” said Thornton, who is fourth in the Order of Merit after his tied tenth spot finish in Portugal.

“I’ll mix it up between this and the Irish Region events,” he said, before dashing off to catch a flight back home and teeing off at 8.05am the next morning where he shared the spoils at the Ballyliffin Pro-Am in Donegal – showing that his game travels well, even if he doesn’t.