Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland: Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick claimed his first win of the season by edging out Scott Hend on the third play-off hole of a dramatic European Masters in Switzerland yesterday.
Fitzpatrick fired a fantastic final round of 64 to reach 14 under par overall, before Hend’s capitulation on the players’ third sudden-death trip down the 18th handed him a first victory since last year’s Tour Championship.
Australian Hend, who lost to Alex Noren in a play-off at the same event 12 months ago, missed a six-foot putt for the title on the second play-off hole before falling apart minutes later.
After the players had completed their weather-delayed third rounds in the morning at Crans-sur-Sierre, Hend held a three-shot lead over Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti.
But world number 48 Fitzpatrick, 23, looked to have carved out a tournament-winning lead as a trio of birdies on the back nine put him two clear with two holes remaining.
Hend, playing in the final group, found a birdie at the par-five 15th though, before Fitzpatrick bogeyed the penultimate hole to leave the pair tied at the top and headed for a play-off on the par-four 18th.
Both two-putted from 30 feet to take pars on the first sudden-death hole, before returning to the final tee box as the play-off was extended.
The 44-year-old Hend struck a magnificent iron shot to six feet from the pin, only to pull his putt for a third European Tour victory past the lip.
He had the wind knocked out of his sails by that poor miss, and dumped his next tee shot into a fairway bunker, before firing the ball against the grandstand behind the green.