Matt Fitzpatrick put some of the disappointment of missing out on a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team when winning the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.
The 24 year old Yorkshireman beat Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard in a play-off to become the first player in 40 years to successfully defend the title.
Fitzpatrick, who narrowly missed out on automatic qualification for the Ryder Cup, started the day four shots ahead of Bjerregaard, but the Dane carded a brilliant 63 to set the target at 17 under, and Fitzpatrick had to birdie the last to take it to extra holes.
Fitzpatrick then put his approach to 12 feet on the first trip back up 18, and another birdie saw him become the first player since the Seve Ballesteros to win back-to-back titles at Crans-sur-Sierre.
The final round developed into a three-way battle between Fitzpatrick, Bjerregaard and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, until the latter bogeyed the last after finding the water.
Lorenzo-Vera finished at 15 under, three shots clear of Spaniard Nacho Elvira and four ahead of England’s Daniel Brooks.
Fitzpatrick needed extra holes to beat Scott Hend in the mountains last season and became just the third player this term to mount a successful defence after Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka.
At 24 years and eight days old, he also becomes the youngest Englishman to get to five European Tour victories, having won in every season since coming through the Qualifying School in 2014.
“This is what I wanted to achieve this season – another win,” he said. “To get it here again is so special and to get my fifth is amazing. I love this place. Of all my wins, I’d say that was definitely the most difficult. I didn’t play my best today, but I managed to grind it out, and made some crucial birdies coming in. The up-and-down on seven was key. After just making bogey on six, which is my favourite hole, making birdie there got me back on track and within touching distance. I’m delighted to have won again.”