Fitzpatrick wins maiden European title at British Masters

Sport360 staff 23:25 11/10/2015
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Aged just 21, Matthew Fitzpatrick won the tournament on home soil.

Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick won his first professional tournament when he finished two strokes clear at the British Masters on Sunday.

A final round of three under par 68, left him 15-under over 72 holes, and two strokes in front of Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen, Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti and Irishman Shane Lowry. 

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The 21-year-old from Sheffield, who was the 2013 US Amateur champion, nailed crucial birdies at 11, 12, 15 and 17 while Kjeldsen stumbled when he hit his tee shot behind a tree at the 16th, with the two players tied, and made bogey during a key moment down the stretch.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling and it’s not going to sink in for a little bit,” said Fitzpatrick. 

“This year my goal was to keep my card, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do that after the start of my year. 

“But I managed to start playing well and making more cuts and just picking up cheques, and then the past two months, I guess, I really got going.”

Fitzpatrick was born in Sheffield and turned professional last year.

Zanotti, 32 from Asuncion, who began the day one shot off the lead, overcame an inconsistent round that included five birdies against three bogeys as he finished tied for second despite a bogey at 18. 

Kjeldsen also settled for a tie for second with the charging Lowry after the WGC-Brigestone International champion carded a final round 67 that included five birdies over the final 18 holes.   

Almost 60,000 spectators attended the EPGA tournament that was returning to the European circuit for the first time since 2008. 

Fitzpatrick had been flirting with his first win at the top level for some time and has been touted as one of English golf’s brightest prospects since finishing as top amateur at the 2013 British Open. 

Zanotti was bidding for his second EPGA victory, after winning the 2014 BMW International Open.

Kjeldsen won the Irish Open in a playoff in May to end a six-year drought. 

Australian Marcus Fraser finished strongly with a final round 67 to share fifth place with Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, former world number one Luke Donald of England and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat. 

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