Italy’s Andrea Pavan claimed his first European Tour title in the D+D Real Czech Masters, beating Padraig Harrington by two shots at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague.
Andrea Pavan wins D+D Real Czech Masters
Italy’s Andrea Pavan played the final nine holes in five-under-par to overtake Padraig Harrington and win the D+D Real Czech Masters at the Albatross Golf Resort by two strokes.
Harrington led by three through nine holes of the final round after going out in 33, but Pavan put his foot down on the run for home. The 29-year-old made birdies at the 10th, 12th and 14th holes to get within one. When Harrington dropped a shot at the 15th, the pair were tied.
Pavan had the bit between his teeth by that point and he made back-to-back birdies on the difficult 16th and 17th holes to move two ahead with one to play.
Harrington hadn’t given up though and the three-time Major champion hit his approach to within 12 feet on the closing hole. He needed a birdie and for Pavan to drop a stroke to force a playoff.
But Pavan wasn’t to be denied. He rolled his approach putt to within two-feet and, after Harrington narrowly missed for a three, Pavan was able to hole out for par and a first European Tour win on his 112th start on the circuit. He has climbed to 41st on the Race to Dubai standings.
“I can’t believe it to be honest,” he said. “Trailing Padraig since the beginning when he was playing so well, I just had to stay aggressive and I can’t believe that I made it happen.”
“It’s tough. I won four times on the Challenge Tour but that was a long time ago. I had a tough start today but I managed to stay patient and it worked out well. I will enjoy this win and keep working on the stuff that seems to be working.”
Although Harrington will be disappointed to have narrowly missed out on a 16th European Tour title, the Ryder Cup vice captain can take positives from the week. His second-place finish was his best on the European Tour since his victory in the 2016 Portugal Masters.
Gavin Green of Malaysia finished the week in third place with Lee Slattery and Scott Jamieson tied for fourth. It was a big result for Scotland’s Jamieson who began the week in 128th place on the Race to Dubai standings.
Thomas Pieters and Eddie Pepperell finished in a tie for ninth. Both men are looking to make their way into Thomas Bjorn’s team for the Ryder Cup at the end of September. Both closing with rounds of 71, there was nothing to separate them in this event.
D+D Real Czech Masters
Albatross Golf Resort, Prague, Czech Republic
Purse: €1,000,000 Par: 72
1 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 65 69 65 67 266
2 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 66 68 65 69 268
3 Gavin Green (Mal) 64 68 70 69 271
T4 Lee Slattery (Eng) 65 72 68 68 273
T4 Scott Jamieson (Sco) 67 68 68 70 273
6 Tom Lewis (Eng) 69 66 71 68 274
T7 Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 68 71 70 66 275
T7 Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA) 70 68 69 68 275
T9 Julien Guerrier (Fra) 71 67 71 67 276
T9 Pontus Widegren (Swe) 71 69 69 67 276
T9 Jeff Winther (Den) 65 68 75 68 276
T9 Hunter Stewart (USA) 69 70 69 68 276
T9 Matthias Schwab (Aut) 69 69 69 69 276
T9 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 68 72 67 69 276
T9 Thomas Pieters (Bel) 64 70 71 71 276
T9 Eddie Pepperell (Eng) 66 71 68 71 276
T9 Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) 69 67 68 72 276
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage