Fitzpatrick beats Hend in thrilling European Masters play-off

Tricia Pearson
September 11, 2017

Fitzpatrick claimed his fourth European Tour title in dramatic fashion at Crans-sur-Sierre, firing a six-under 64 and then seeing off Scott Hend at the third extra playoff hole. "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".

Hend held a one-shot lead overnight but a birdie on 13 took him to 11 under, stretching his advantage by a stroke just before play ended for the day.

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

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.

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). It's never nice to see, but we kept our nerve and just played really smart all week.

"I was saying to (caddie) Jamie, "I think 17 might have cost us today", Fitzpatrick said.

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Both players began the day early with holes to complete in their third rounds following weather-disrupted play on Saturday.

Both players were tied for the lead at 14-under to go into a play-off.

Marcus Fraser produced his lowest score in signing for a 66, and that included an 18 hole birdie for a third day running, to end his round at eight-under par and then share of fifth place at eight-under par.

Still, his 11 under total was two ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick of England, Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay, and Darren Fichardt of South Africa.

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.

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