Sunday, 04 June 2017
Renato Paratore  (Getty Images)
Renato Paratore (Getty Images)
Renato Paratore won his first European Tour title as he held off the challenge of Chris Wood and Matthew Fitzpatrick to claim the Nordea Masters at Barsebäck Golf and Country Club.

The Italian entered the final day a shot behind Wood and showed real guts to save par on the last three holes and sign for a 70 and an 11 under par total, leaving the Englishman needing a par up the last to set up a play-off.

With the 20 year old looking on from the clubhouse, Wood hit a ragged tee-shot into the trees and recorded a bogey as Paratore became the youngest winner on Tour since countryman and GolfSixes partner Matteo Manassero won the BMW PGA Championship in 2013.

Fitzpatrick had birdied the last to sign for a 68 and set the target at ten under on a rainy day in Malmö - where 86,100 fans have been in attendance this week - but ultimately fell a shot short of a play-off as he defended the title he won last year.

South African George Coetzee and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen were at nine under, a shot clear of Frenchman Matthieu Pavon and Wales' Jamie Donaldson.

Paratore's victory comes in his 83rd appearance and will move him into the top 150 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

"It feels really amazing right now, I'm very happy," he said. "This win means a lot and also to win at a nice tournament like this is very good for me. I feel really great. The first win, I will remember my entire life.

"It feels amazing to be in the winner's circle with Italians like the Molinaris, Manassero and Rocca.
 
"I was one behind the leader so I thought if I played well I could win. In these tough conditions I kept a good attitude until the end.

"The eighth and the ninth got me back in contention with two birdies, that was a key moment, and the last three holes I managed three very good putts. The last three holes were very good."

Coetzee had started the day seven shots off the lead but set the course record with a brilliant 66 containing nine birdies, the last of which was a stunning chip-in on the 15th.

He still held the lead as the final group started the back nine and at one point there was a five-way tie for the lead between Coetzee, Donaldson, Olesen, Wood and Paratore.

It was the latter two who broke out of the pack as they recovered from shaky starts with Paratore having bogeyed the third but he got back under par for the day thanks to an excellent tee-shot on the par three eighth and a right-to-lefter on the ninth.

Wood had made bogeys on the first, third and seventh but birdied the sixth and ninth to turn in 37 before a six-footer on the tenth had him back in that share of the lead.

Paratore took advantage of the par five 12th before Wood repeated the trick but it was Paratore who edged ahead again with a 25-foot putt on the 14th.

An excellent approach to the 16th moved Wood back into a share of the lead while Paratore made clutch putts for par on the 16th and 17th in what was proving to be a nervy finish.

Another good par save followed on the last and when Wood had to take a drop after sending his final tee-shot into the trees, the trophy belonged to Paratore.

Fitzpatrick recovered from a double-bogey on the third with birdies on the first, fifth, eighth, ninth, 13th, 16th and last, while Olesen had four birdies and two bogeys in a 71.

Pavon carded a closing 67 with Donaldson recording a 72 to finish a shot ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts, Austin Connelly, Benjamin Hebert, Eddie Pepperell, Marcel Siem, Andy Sullivan and Jeunghun Wang.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1PARATORE, RenatoITA18-11
T2FITZPATRICK, MatthewENG18-10
T2WOOD, ChrisENG18-10
T4COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-9
T4OLESEN, ThorbjørnDEN18-9
6PAVON, MatthieuFRA18-8

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