Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano fired five birdies and an eagle over the back nine on Sunday before defeating Markus Brier in a play-off for the rain-shortened Telecom Italia Open.
The man from Madrid trailed overnight leader Andrew McLardy by five shots going into the final round but it was England’s Nick Dougherty who threw away the best chance of victory.
Dougherty had a three-stroke cushion with nine holes to play but some wayward play meant he came up one stroke short of the play-off mark at 16 under par.
Fernandez-Castano (pictured) set the clubhouse target of 200 for 54 holes but was forced into a shoot-out with in-form Markus Brier when the Austrian birdied two of the last three. The Spaniard then sealed it at the second extra hole with an approach shot to five feet at the 18th.
It was 26-year-old Fernandez-Castano’s third European Tour title following victories at the KLM Open in 2005 and the BMW Asian Open in 2006.
Last year’s Italian Open winner Francesco Molinari fired a final-round 65 to share third place.
Telecom Italia Open
Final scores (54 holes)
-16 G Fernandez-Castano (Spa), M Brier (Aut)
-15 F Andersson Hed (Swe), N Dougherty (Eng), H Nystrom (Swe), F Molinari (Ita)
Fernandez-Castano won play-off