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European Masters: Matthew Fitzpatrick defeats Scott Hend in dramatic play-off

European Masters final leaderboard-14: Hend (Aus), *Fitzpatrick (Eng); -11: Hatton (Eng), Zanotti (Par); -10: Ilonen (Fin); -9: Slattery (Eng), Noren (Swe), Fichardt (SA)Selected others: -8: Stewart (Sco); -6: Gallacher (Sco); -5: Ramsay (Sco), Horsey (Eng); Level: Westwood (Eng); +3: Donald (Eng)*Denotes winner after play-offMatthew Fitzpatrick won his fourth European Tour title with a dramatic play-off victory over Australia’s Scott Hend at the European Masters.The 23-year-old shot a closing six-under 64 to end on 14 under at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.Hend led by three shots going into round four and had an eight-foot putt to win on the second play-off hole.

But he missed and a wayward shot from a bunker on the third play-off hole gave Fitzpatrick the chance to close out.”I’m delighted,” said Englishman Fitzpatrick. “It’s one that I’ve always wanted to win. I love playing this golf course. It’s always stood out on the schedule.”We kept our nerve and played really smart all week.”

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Fitzpatrick was left with a putt of around a foot for the win when Hend could only make bogey as both men completed the 18th hole for the third time in the play-off.World number 98 Hend had fired through the green from a fairway bunker and his chip back onto the putting surface rolled through the green, stopping perilously close to a water hazard.He lost the same event in a play-off to Alex Noren last year and will rue missing his putt on the second additional hole, costing him the chance to land a third European Tour title.Both players began the day early with holes to complete in their third rounds following weather-disrupted play on Saturday.But it was in the fourth round where Fitzpatrick gathered momentum with eight birdies and two bogeys seeing him card a six-under 64. That was the joint-lowest round of the day with Finland’s Miko Ilonen – who finished on 10 under – and Scotland’s Richie Ramsay – who ended on five under.The Sheffield-born player briefly held a two-shot lead before making a bogey on the 17th hole. But the round was enough to secure a first play-off of his career on the European Tour and with his mother and father watching on the course, Fitzpatrick drained a testing six-foot putt to avoid losing at the first extra hole.From there on in his solid driving ensured that although he produced only pars in the play-off, it was enough to secure a first title since November.

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Source: BBC GOLF

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