Sport Golf

Friday 22 September 2017

Fitzpatrick outguns Hend to seal Swiss play-off glory

Matthew Fitzpatrick celebrates his Omega European Masters triumph. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Matthew Fitzpatrick celebrates his Omega European Masters triumph. Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

William S Callahan

Matthew Fitzpatrick beat Scott Hend in a dramatic play-off to win the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

The Englishman entered the final round four shots behind Australian Hend but produced a closing 64 to get to 14-under and force the tournament to extra holes in the Swiss Alps before securing his prize.

There was disappointment for Paul Dunne. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
There was disappointment for Paul Dunne. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

However, there was disappointment for Paul Dunne who rounded off an indifferent week with a final round 70, leaving him on three over par for the tournament.

The Greystones man saw his three birdies cancelled out by three bogeys on the back nine for a final tally that left him well down the field.

Hend - who lost to Alex Noren in a play-off at this event last season - missed a six-foot putt for victory on the second extra hole but found sand off the tee on the next trip up the 18th and after he flew the green with his second, a par was enough to seal victory for Fitzpatrick.

"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."

Fitzpatrick made four birdies and a bogey in his first eight holes to catch up to Hend and when he added further gains on the 10th, 14th, 15th and 16th, the Ryder Cup star held a two-shot lead.

Hend then hit back with a birdie on the 15th and a Fitzpatrick bogey on the 17th set up the dramatic finish to proceedings.

England's Tyrrell Hatton birdied four of his last six holes to finish at 11-under alongside Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti, with another Englishman in Lee Slattery two shots further back.

Scot Duncan Stewart was then at eight-under, with former world No 1 Lee Westwood finishing at level-par in his 500th European Tour event of his career.

Meanwhile, the United States looked on course to Walker Cup victory after they took a sizeable step towards reclaiming the title with a commanding display in yesterday's foursomes.

Leading 8-4 overnight, the Americans eased themselves to 11-5 and within two-and-a-half points of victory at the Los Angeles Country Club, leaving Great Britain and Ireland in deep trouble ahead of the 10 singles matches.

Norman Xiong and Collin Morikawa led the way with a two-up victory over Connor Syme and the team's only Irishman Paul McBride (The Island), although the match was all square as the pairs left the 15th green before an American birdie at the 16th and a bogey from their opponents at the last proved decisive.

Life proved significantly more straightforward for Will Zalatoris and Cameron Champ, who needed just 13 holes to secure a 6&5 win over David Boote and Jack Davidson, while Doug Ghim and Maverick McNealy were 3&2 victors against Matthew Jordan and Robert MacIntyre.

Only Jack Singh Brar and Scott Gregory registered for Great Britain and Ireland with a two-up success against Braden Thornberry and Doc Redman.

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