Tran, Vietnam's only player on the Asian Tour, performed superbly at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters where he challenged for the title throughout the week before settling for joint third place in the RM1.2 million (approximately US$395,000) event.
It was his first top-five finish in three frustrating seasons for the 22-year-old talent from Ho Chi Minh who was contemplating quitting touring life after losing his sponsor and also finding success hard to come back.
"I came in with no expectations. This was going to be one of my last tournaments. I was just aiming to enjoy the competition and being in the tournament as I wasn't going to play much next year," said Tran.
"This should give me some hope to get into some of the bigger events later this year like Thailand Golf Championship Iskandar Johor Open. If I can get my card by finishing in the top-60, it will change my decision. I'm already into next week's (this week's) tournament, the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship in Taipei, so I will play again."
He said his girlfriend Huynh Ly Dong Phuong, who is a pilot, has given him a fresh outlook.
"Maybe I've found something more than golf. Maybe my girlfriend has helped me a bit. She's got my mind off things, not to get so much into it (golf). Sometimes if you try too hard, you won't get the results and it'll go the other way. I've known her for the last few months," he said.
"This year, I actually lost my sponsorship deal. It was getting tough to travel. I made some money but I spent it all on travelling. It's hard to look at what you're making and what you're spending. It made me become realistic. This cheque, hopefully it'll get me through to the end of the year."
Tran displayed some wonderful golf, shooting rounds of 67, 68, 73 and 68, for a 12-under-par total, four behind winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, who secured an unprecedented 14th Asian Tour victory.
His cheque of US$19,377 pushed him up to 62nd place on the Order of Merit, with the top-60 earning full playing rights for 2013.
"This course taught me that you can't overpower it. It's about ball placement. I think I used less than 10 drivers. I placed my ball and still had good chances for birdies.
"This week taught me about consistency. I played with Thaworn a lot this year. It was nice to play with him in the third round. There wasn't any pressure. I just had a bad hole in the third round," Tran said.
He was delighted to fight back in the final round after dropping two double bogeys on his outward nine. He stormed home in 31 to enjoy his best finish yet.
"When I made the turn, I saw I had no chance to win. I just said to enjoy the last nine holes and that's what I did. I stopped trying to force it to happen. I was trying to curve my ball and stuff but the last nine, I just stopped trying.
"If I don't finish top-60, I may go back to Q-school to get a better status. We'll see. I will still have my country exemption and I'll play on that. I may not play all the tournaments. I still like playing the game and my plan was to play less. I may have to change now."