Sunday, 10 September 2017
Day 4 Highlights - Omega European Masters

Matthew Fitzpatrick beat Scott Hend in a play-off after a thrilling final-day battle to win his fourth European Tour title at the Omega European Masters.

The Englishman came into the final round at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club four shots behind Hend after dropping a shot in the final three holes of his third round on Sunday morning.

He had caught Hend by the eighth and when he birdied the 14th, 15th and 16th, he had a two-shot lead before a bogey on the penultimate hole left him back in a share of top spot at 14 under.

Hend lost this event in a play-off to Alex Noren last season and he suffered more late heartbreak in the mountains, with Fitzpatrick parring the third extra hole to take the title.

Hend missed a six-footer for victory on the second trip back up the 18th and when the Australian found sand off the tee and went through the back of the green with his second, a par was enough to hand Fitzpatrick victory.

Fitzpatrick had finished in the top ten at this event the last two years and this was the second time he had been involved in a final-day shoot-out after losing to countryman Danny Willett by a single shot in 2015.

"I'm delighted," he said. "It's one that I've always wanted to win. I love playing this golf course, from the first ever year I came as an invite in 2014 it's one that has really stood out on my schedule and I always want to come back and play.

"I was saying to (caddie) Jamie, 'I think 17 might have cost us today' but it's just one of those things. It's never nice to see but we kept our nerve and just played really smart all week.

"I remember being here in 2015 when Dan won and his parents were there to see him win so it's nice to have mine here too. It's the third win they've seen me achieve so it's pretty special."

England's Tyrrell Hatton and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti finished at 11 under, a shot clear of Finn Mikko Ilonen and two ahead of Darren Fichardt, defending champion Alex Noren and Lee Slattery.

Hend dropped a shot after finding sand off the tee on the par three third and when he hit a poor tee-shot on the next to surrender another bogey, the lead was down to one.

I'm delighted. It's one that I've always wanted to win - Matthew Fitzpatrick

The 44 year old got a fortunate break after sending his tee-shot left into the trees on the fifth. The ball fell nicely and Hend hit a brilliant hooked second to set up a ten-foot birdie.

Fitzpatrick had birdied the second thanks to a smart approach and while he bogeyed the fifth after sending his second shot over the back of the green, he bounced back with a birdie on the sixth after a good chip-and-run.

The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai title holder then played another nice chip to set up another birdie on the seventh and an excellent tee-shot on the eighth meant he was in a share of the lead.

Hend missed the green on the drivable seventh before playing an impressive chip of his own to get back to level par for the day and into the lead but Fitzpatrick hit a beautiful approach into the tenth and rolled his birdie putt up the hill.

Hend powered his way to the side of the ninth green in two and got up and down to make a birdie and lead by one approaching the back-to-back par five 14th and 15th.

Fitzpatrick hit both in two and made birdies to take the lead and with Hend only parring the former, it was advantage to the 23 year old. He then rolled a 20-footer up the slope on the 16th to lead by two and all of a sudden Hend was on the back foot.

There were more twists to come, though, as Hend took advantage of the 15th and Fitzpatrick found a bunker with his second on the 17th to drop a shot and set up the dramatic finish.

Hatton was level par for the day after 12 holes but birdied the 13th, 14th, 15th and last in a 66, while Zanotti birdied the fifth, ninth and 15th before his chances disappeared with a dropped shot on the next.

Ilonen finished eagle-par-birdie-birdie to add to three further gains and a bogey in a closing 64.

Swede Noren carded a 66 to finish at nine under in an admirable defence of his title alongside England's Slattery and South African Fichardt.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
2HEND, ScottAUS18-14
T3HATTON, TyrrellENG18-11
T3ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-11
5ILONEN, MikkoFIN18-10
T6NOREN, AlexSWE18-9

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