Matthew Fitzpatrick
Matthew Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick wins playoff to defend European Masters title

sports September 10, 2018 05:21

By AFP

Matthew Fitzpatrick edged out Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard in a playoff on Sunday to become the first man to successfully defend the European Masters title at Crans Montana since Seve Ballesteros 40 years ago.



 

The 24-year-old Englishman, who missed out on a Ryder Cup wildcard pick earlier this week, birdied the 18th hole to reach 17-under par for the tournament and force a playoff, before repeating the feat on the first sudden-death hole to claim victory.

It was Fitzpatrick's fifth European Tour title in only three years.

"This is what I wanted to achieve this season -- another win," he told europeantour.com. "To get it here again is so special and to get my fifth is amazing. I love this place.

"Of all my wins I'd say that was definitely the most difficult. I didn't have my A game today, despite loving this place I just didn't play my best today. I managed to grind it out, made some crucial birdies coming in and I'm delighted. This is one of my best."

The world number 44 took a two-shot lead into the final day, but started slowly with two bogeys in the first six holes to slip two strokes adrift of Bjerregaard.

But he steadied the ship and a birdie at the par-five 15th saw him cut the gap to just a single shot.

His playing partner, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, led briefly before a costly double-bogey on 14, and both were left needing to birdie the last to tie Bjerregaard in the clubhouse.

Lorenzo-Vera bogeyed, but Fitzpatrick fired an excellent iron shot to just a few feet and converted the putt with ease.

Another strong approach to the same green followed just minutes later, with a dead-eyed putt securing the win.

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