European Masters: Matthew Fitzpatrick defeats Scott Hend in dramatic play-off

by Olga Hunt September 11, 2017, 0:32
European Masters: Matthew Fitzpatrick defeats Scott Hend in dramatic play-off

Australia's Scott Hend extended his lead at the European Masters but was unable to finish his third round on a fog-affected day in Switzerland. "I didn't hit a good drive on 14, missed a seven-footer for birdie on 10 and I left one three inches short on 13 too so obviously if you make those shots I'm leading by one".

He had started the round three shots behind Australian Hend but the pair had to settle for a play-off.

It was a fourth career title for the 23-year-old former U.S. Amateur victor.

This is the second straight year Hend, who closed in 2-under 70, loses this tournament in a playoff (he did so to Alex Noren in 2016).

Fitzpatrick, a Ryder Cup debutant past year, acknowledged thinking that Hend would seize that chance after his own four metre birdie putt slid by the hole.

"It's never nice to see", Fitzpatrick said of Hend's miss, "but we kept our nerve and we played really smart all week".

The Sheffield-born player briefly held a two-shot lead before making a bogey on the 17th hole.

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Swede Alexander Björk, Thai Thongchai Jaidee and South African Richard Sterne were all at eight under with holes to complete when play resumes at 8.00am on Sunday morning.

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.

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.

Tyrrell Hatton tied for third at 11 under.

The lead was gone minutes later when Fitzpatrick bogeyed the par-4 17th, after finding a green-side bunker with his approach, and Hend birdied the par-5 15th.

Defending champion Noren did complete his round and is within six shots of Hend after a two-under 68.

Temperatures at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club dropped on Saturday and scoring became tough.


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