Matthew Fitzpatrick shot a final-round 67 and then edged Lucas Bjerregaard in a playoff to win back-to-back titles at the Omega European Masters.
The Englishman, who became the first player since Seve Ballesteros in 1978 to successfully defend his title at Crans-sur-Sierra Golf Club, entered Sunday’s finale with a two-shot advantage, but Bjerregaard carded a sizzling 63 to force a playoff with the defending champion.
On the first playoff hole – No. 18, the Dane made par to Fitzpatrick’s birdie, and just like that the Englishman earned his first victory of 2018.
The win for Fitzpatrick came one week too late to make the 2018 Ryder Cup team, but he did earn 487,500 RTD points to jump up ten spots, from 23rd to 13th, in the Race to Dubai Rankings, totaling 1,582,845 points for the season.
“After the disappointment of missing out on a second appearance at The Ryder Cup, Matthew has bounced back superbly with another playoff triumph in Switzerland,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International Dubai Office.
“It’s no mean feat to win back-to-back at an event but Matthew has shown he is capable of great things over the years with sublime performances around the world including his memorable victory at the season-ending 2016 DP World Tour Championship.
“We look forward to welcoming the former champion back to Jumeriah Golf Estates at the end of the season.”
At 24 years and eight days old, Fitzpatrick becomes the youngest Englishman to reach five European Tour victories, as he’s earned a win in every pro season, starting with his rookie campaign in 2014.
“That was tough, that was really tough,” said Fitzpatrick. “Of all my wins I’d say that was definitely the most difficult. I didn’t have my A game today, despite loving this place I just didn’t play my best today. I managed to grind it out, made some crucial birdies coming in and I’m delighted. This is one of my best.
“This is what I wanted to achieve this season – another win. To get it here again is so special and to get my fifth is amazing. I love this place.”
Bjerregard, meanwhile, settled for solo second place, and with that, the 27 year old Dane jumps up to 24th (from 38th) in the RTD standings with a total of 1,101,566 points.
Frances’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera’s final-round 67 saw him finish two off the lead, and alone in third place.
2018 OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS
FINAL TOP 5
Pos-Player-To Par-Final Rd
1. Matthew Fitzpatrick -17 (-3)
2. Lucas Bjerregaard -17 (-7)
3. Mike Lorenzo-Vera -15 (-3)
4. Nacho Elvira -12 (-3)
5. Daniel Brooks -11 (-1)
Driving: 278 yards (63rd)
Fairways: 73.1%, 38/52 (1st)
Greens: 77.8%, 56/72 (2nd)
Putts/GIR: 1.669/93 putts (7th)
Scoring: 2 Eagles, 19 Birdies, 47 Pars, 4 Bogeys, 1 Double