Fitzpatrick emulates Seve in the Swiss Alps

Golf News

Matthew Fitzpatrick became the first player to defend the European Masters since Seve Ballesteros, while Matt Wallace and Thomas Pieters dealt with their Ryder Cup snubs in very different ways. Harvey Jamison wraps up the action from Crans-sur-Sierre

What happened at the Omega European Masters?

Matthew Fitzpatrick won his fifth European Tour title before the age of 25 after beating Lucas Bjerregaard in a one-hole play-off at Crans-sur-Sierre.

It was Bjerregaard who broke free to set the clubhouse target at 17-under, carding back-to-back birdies over the 14th and 15th holes to add to a sizzling front-nine of 30.

Mike Lorenzo-Vera, in search of his maiden win, saw his chances fade with a double-bogey seven at the par-5 14th, but a brilliant birdie on the very next hole levelled him alongside Fitzpatrick in a tie for second.

The Englishman, who started the day with a two-shot lead, bogeyed the 3rd and 6th but dug deep and found himself, along with Lorenzo-Vera, needing birdie at 18 to force a play-off.

Lorenzo-Vera’s ball found water on his approach to end his chances. But Fitzpatrick, a natural fader of the ball, knocked his approach to eight feet and stroked home to bring Bjerregaard back to the 18th tee after a 40-minute wait.

Fitzpatrick, who defeated Scott Hend in extra holes here last year, and Bjerregaard both found the rough with their tee shots. And while the Dane could only watch as his ball trickled past the hole and come to a rest against the collar of the thick stuff, Fitzpatrick left himself 10 feet to birdie the same hole back-to-back and complete a remarkable comeback.

What Ryder Cup heartbreak?

Final 2018 Omega European Masters Leaderboard

Talking Point

Speaking of the which, Thomas Bjorn opted for experience over red-hot form with his Ryder Cup wildcard picks, leaving out Matt Wallace and Thomas Pieters.

Many questioned how you couldn’t possibly take the man that has won three European tour titles in just six months, but with half of Team Europe having never tasted Ryder Cup blood, Bjorn didn’t risk any more.

What was remarkable was how different the pair reacted this week.

A winner last week, Wallace was understandably upset but dealt with the blow in the way only true champions do.

“Obviously I’m disappointed because that was my goal and my dream. I thought I showed enough on Sunday in front of him to get a pick,” he said.

“But I fully back Team Europe now to go and give the Americans a good go. Hopefully, I can be there supporting or helping them out.”

Meanwhile, Belgium’s finest Pieters had a different outlook to his snub, when he was paired with Wallace and Fitzpatrick during the first two rounds at Crans-sur-Sierre.

“We were the rejects,” joked Pieters.

When asked if the Ryder Cup subject arose during play, Pieters said: “No Ryder Cup chat – all just normal chat, whatever we talk about on the course.”

A quadraple-bogey 9 en route to a missed cut certainly didn’t help his mood – as his putter found out…

Best moments

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