Fitzpatrick beats Hend in thrilling Switzerland playoff

11 September, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Matt Fitzpatrick wins European Masters play off

Scott Hend and wife Leanne ponder a shot during a rain-soaked round three in Switzerland.

Fitzpatrick earned a 450,000-euro ($542,000) prize for his first win since the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai last November.

Fading light prevented Hend, who was denied victory at the same event previous year as he lost to Alex Noren in a play-off, from finishing his round.

Hend birdied the par-3 13th hole minutes before fading light forced the players off a second time.

Both players were tied for the lead at 14-under to go into a play-off.

Hend led by three shots going into round four and had an eight-foot putt to win on the second playoff hole, but he missed.

Fitzpatrick, a Ryder Cup debutant a year ago, said he thought Hend would seize that chance after his own 12-feet (4-meter) birdie putt slid by the hole.

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"We kept our nerve and played really smart all week".

Playing the last hole for the fifth time in the day proved a step too far for the Aussie, as his bogey allowed Fitzpatrick to tap in for the win. "He's a good champion".

Fitzpatrick recovered from bogeys at the first and third with three gains in four holes to make the turn in 34 and was flawless through the first six holes of his back nine.

Hend battled in the testing conditions and despite being two over on the day, his nearest rivals' rounds meant his lead lengthened.

The margin doubled by round's end as Fitzpatrick made a late bogey and Hend produced 1-under golf to finish his round via an eagle-bogey stretch.

Defending champion Noren carded a 67 to tie in 32nd position on 137 alongside a host of players, which include former victor and Asian Tour Order of Merit leader David Lipsky, who signed for a 70.

Lee Westwood, the 1999 victor at the Crans-sur-Sierre club that is blanketed with snow each winter, finished on level par after a closing 69.

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