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Fitzpatrick savours play-off triumph at the Omega European Masters

Crans Montana, September 10: Young talent Matthew Fitzpatrick of England lifted his fourth professional title after prevailing on the third extra hole in a two-way play-off against Australian Scott Hend at the Omega European Masters on Sunday.
 
The 23-year-old Fitzpatrick marked his best efforts of the week when he fired eight birdies against two bogeys to close with a six-under-par 64, forcing extra time with Hend, who signed for a 68, after the duo were tied on 14-under-par 266 total in regulation play.
 
Both of them parred the first extra hole after returning to the par-four 18 at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club. Hend, who had held the lead since the opening round, missed a 10-footer birdie chance to settle for a second straight par alongside the young Englishman on the second extra hole.
 
A third consecutive par in the play-off duel proved enough for Fitzpatrick to seal the deal as the 44-year-old Hend hit a wayward drive to put himself back in the fairway bunker and then over the back of the green before settling for a bogey.
 
Hend, a nine-time Asian Tour winer, was left to rue a missed opportunity after suffering a play-off heartbreak for the second straight year at the Swiss showpiece, which is the only tournament on European soil to be co-sanctioned by the Asian and European Tours.
 
Hend, however, took over the driver’s seat on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with his runner-up finish and put himself in the running for a second Merit crown after he became the first Australian to top the money list in 2016.
 
England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay returned with rounds of 66 and 68 respectively to settle three shots back in third place at the €2.7 million (approximately US$3.25 million) event.





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