Matthew Fitzpatrick beat Lucas Bjerregaard at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff to successfully defend the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre GC in Switzerland.

Matthew Fitzpatrick wins Omega European Masters

Matthew Fitzpatrick became the first golfer in 40 years to successfully defend the Omega European Masters when he saw off Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard at the first hole of a sudden-death playoff at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Fitzpatrick began the final round four clear of Bjerregaard, but the Dane posted a superb closing 63 to set an impressive clubhouse target of 17-under-par 263.

24-year-old Fitzpatrick had to birdie the last in regulation play to force extra holes and he and Bjerregaard then returned to the 18th tee to settle the tournament in sudden-death.

Matt Fitzpatrick succesfully defended his title

Matt Fitzpatrick succesfully defended his title

Fitzpatrick’s drive on th first extra hoel went well left, but he caught a good break and his ball rebounded towards the fairway. Bjerregaard had played his tee shot down the right side and his approach ran just through the green up against the first cut of rough.

The Englishman then played a solid shot to within 15 feet of the pin. After Bjerregaard missed from just off the surface, Fitzpatrick had a chance to claim the tournament for a second year running. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands and rolled his birdie putt home to become the first man to retain the European Masters title since Seve Ballesteros in 1978.

Lucas Bjerregaard lost in a playoff

Lucas Bjerregaard lost in a playoff

At 24 years and eight days old, Fitzpatrick 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 have my A game today, despite loving this place I just didn’t play my best today. I managed to grind it out, made some crucial birdies coming in and I’m delighted. This is one of my best.”

Fitzpatrick who narrowly missed out on a Ryder Cup spot has moved to 13th on the Race to Dubai Rankings and could climb into the World’s top-40.

Omega European Masters
Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Crans Montana, Switzerland
6-9 September
Purse: €2,500,000 Par: 70

1 Matt Fitzpatrick (Eng) 69 64 63 67 263 €416,660
2 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 68 65 67 63 263 €277,770
3 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 66 64 67 265 €156,500
4 Nacho Elvira (Esp) 66 69 67 66 268 €125,000
5 Daniel Brooks (Eng) 69 67 64 69 269 €106,000
T6 Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 65 66 71 68 270 €81,250
T6 Ashun Wu (Chn) 70 65 65 70 270 €81,250
T8 Darren Fichardt (RSA) 68 71 68 64 271 €53,265
T8 Doug Ghim (USA) 68 65 67 71 271 €53,265
T8 Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) 68 71 68 64 271 €53,265
T8 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 67 69 68 67 271 €53,265

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage