Simon Khan finally found his best Open form of the week to deliver a closing level-par 70 at Royal St George's.
It could have been even better for Khan, who raced to the turn in 32 after three birdies at three, five and seven.
He then dropped shots coming back at 11, 13 and 15 but still earned a fourth top 50 Open finish in seven years.
Essex colleague Richard McEvoy was two shots back on 12-over 292 at Sandwich after rounding off his first Open Championship with a six-over 76.
"This week has really made me believe that I have the game to compete at this level," McEvoy told BBC Sport, after finishing tied for 48th on 12 over.
"I just need to start competing every week and work on my consistency."
McEvoy enjoyed two birdies on the final day, both on the front nine, at the fifth and the seventh, as he went out in 36. But he picked up five of his eight bogeys on the back nine to come in 40.
Khan finished tied for 38th on 10 over, which could have been better if he had held it together on his back nine.
"The wind got up more as we went round," he said. "But it was still disappointing that I could not play well on the back nine as, being fairly local, I had great support out there.
"It's a shame that the elements can play such a big part. But you've just got to grind it out. And it's always special to be at an Open."