Andrea Pavan shot a final-round 6-under par and then edged Matthew Fitzpatrick in a playoff to claim his second career European Tour title at the BMW International Open.
The 30-year old Italian, who had led after day one at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried, entered the final round four shots off the pace before carding a closing 66 to set the clubhouse target at 15 under.
Fitzpatrick was tied with Pavan and appeared to be the favorite, as he still had the scoreable closing stretch (Nos. 15-18) in front of him, but the Englishman parred both 15 and 16, and then bogeyed No. 17, before getting back a stroke on the final hole to claim a playoff spot.
Playing the par-5 18th as the sudden death hole, Pavan and Fitzpatrick each made par on the first go-round. On the second trip up 18, though, Pavan carded the only birdie to claim victory.
“It’s amazing,” said Pavan, who played college golf at Texas A&M. “I thought I had a chance starting the day. I was playing very well coming into the week, I just hit a few bad drives – it’s always a little bit of an Achilles heel.
“This hole (No. 18) is not the best for me without the driver but I managed to make birdie.
“I was feeling the rush. I had a little pitching wedge and luckily I got a decent lie but it just felt great, it was really close.
“Two years ago at this moment I was really struggling. I can’t thank enough my coach, my caddie, my family, my wife – it’s really amazing.”
Seven players tied for third-place at 13-under par including pre-tournament favorite Matt Wallace, who needed a birdie to join the overtime group, but carded a bogey to also lose sole possession of third place.
Rafa Cabrera Bello (66) and Edoardo Molinari were among the notables in the T3 logjam.
Leaderboard: Final Top 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Andrea Pavan -15 (-6)
2. Matthew Fitzpatrick -15 (-3)
3. Rafa Cabrera Bello -13 (-6)
3. Alvaro Quiros -13 (-6)
3. Edoardo Molinari -13 (-5)
3. Matt Wallace -13 (-2)
3. Christian Bezuidenhout -13 (-2)
3. Matthias Schwab -13 (-1)
3. Jordan Smith -13 (E)
“I lived in Italy until I was 17 and then finished high school. Finished high school a little earlier. Got a scholarship. Went to Texas A&M. Did my studies. I felt like I was too young. My game was good, but not like to the top guys. I felt like I needed to compete well in amateur events in order to then take the next step and it was a great experience to play in America. I mean, I met my wife, and now we have two kids. I feel very blessed.”
– Andrea Pavan