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Fitzpatrick wins European Masters as Hend loses play-off for second year running

10 September 2017 17:47

Scott Hend suffered more play-off misery in the European Masters, losing out in extra holes at Crans-sur-Sierre for the second year in succession as Matt Fitzpatrick claimed victory.

The leader by two overnight, Hend stretched his advantage to three strokes when playing the last five holes of his third round on Sunday morning.

However, the Australian's final-round 68 was emphatically bettered by a 64 from Fitzpatrick, the runner-up at this event in 2015.

Hend, beaten in a play-off by Alex Noren 12 months ago, missed a golden chance to seal victory on the second extra hole, failing to find the target with a birdie putt from around five feet.

And a fourth European Tour title was Fitzpatrick's when Hend made bogey on the next trip down 18, after thinning a bunker shot through the green and sending a subsequent chip beyond the putting surface from a tricky lie.

Fitzpatrick had opened up a two-shot cushion when he birdied three holes in a row from the 14th to reach seven under for the day, but the Englishman then bogeyed 17 after Hend had closed the gap with a gain of his own on 15.

With Fitzpatrick in the clubhouse, Hend found sand from the 18th tee in regulation play but recovered well to make a comfortable par four, a score he and Fitzpatrick repeated on the first extra hole.

A superb wedge gave Hend the chance to exorcise his demons when the leaders came up 18 once again, but a nervy birdie putt followed and he duly made a mess of the same hole to gift victory to his rival.

Fabrizio Zanotti, Hend's nearest challenger at the beginning of the final round, shared third with Tyrrell Hatton on 11 under, while Mikko Ilonen matched Fitzpatrick's 64 to round out the top five.

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