Rory McIlroy was unable to make up a one shot deficit on Peter Hason and had to settle for second place in Shanghai on Sunday.
A month after failing to win a point at the Ryder Cup - and being left on the sidelines for three of the five sessions - Hanson had the sweetest win of his career on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Swede just held off world number one McIlroy to take the BMW Masters title in Shanghai against a field that also included nine more of his European team-mates from Medinah.
With Luke Donald coming third and Ian Poulter fourth it was a week dominated by members of Jose Maria Olazabal’s side, but Hanson was the one to come out on top.
By claiming a first prize of over £720,000 he has also given himself a chance to deny McIlroy the same European and PGA Tour money list double achieved by Donald last season.
With four more weeks to go he leaps from seventh to second in the standings, and although McIlroy’s runner-up finish means he still has a lead of more than £650,000, the winner’s cheque is more than that in this week’s World Championship event at Mission Hills in Shenzhen - and McIlroy is not playing.
“I’m going to try to keep this form going,” Hanson said after a closing bogey gave him a one-stroke victory on a smoggy day when both of the front two shot five-under-par rounds of 67.
He was five clear after a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th, but McIlroy also made four on the long 13th, eagled the 15th from 18 feet - Hanson birdied - and then cut the difference to two with a five-foot putt at the next.
McIlroy is staying in China, but only for a one-day head-to-head against Tiger Woods - joint fourth in Malaysia on Sunday after a closing 63.
The rest of the week is being spent with his tennis star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki in Bulgaria - she is playing a tournament there - but he returns to Asia for the Singapore Open and his defence of the Hong Kong Open.
Those events will give the 23-year-old the opportunity to clinch the money list double before the race-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai on November 22-25.
“I’m happy with how I played, but a little disappointed,” McIlroy said. “I missed a few opportunities on the front nine and it was too little, too late.
“I wanted to make him work for it and it would have been nice to hole the putt on the last, but it wasn’t to be and Peter deserved it.”