Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay eagled the final hole of the Maybank Championship to card a closing 63 and win by a shot from David Lipsky of the USA.
Fabrizio Zanotti began the final round of the Maybank Championship at Saujana G&CC in Malaysia six shots off the lead held by Masters champion Danny Willett but a closing 63 was enough for the Paraguayan to claim a second European Tour victory.
Zanotti began his charge on the front nine with birdies on the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th holes. Despite turning in 32, victory still seemed unlikely for the 33-year-old as those in the groups behind were also playing some great golf. David Lipsky of the USA in particular, as he reeled off four straight birdies from the 10th.
But Zanotti kept his foot to the floor on the run for home. He made gains at the 13th, 15th and 17th holes. He then played two great shots to the par-5 18th and rolled home a 15-foot putt for eagle. That set a clubhouse total of 19-under that nobody following was able to match and he was champion.
3 Talking points from the Maybank Championship
1 – This was Fabrizio Zanotti’s second European Tour triumph, following the 2014 BMW International Open. The win represented quite a turnaround in form for the Paraguayan. He came into the tournament having missed three straight cuts in the Middle East.
“It feels really good to be a winner again. I’ve been working a lot and I was not in my best run of form, missing three cuts in a row, but that’s in the past and today I’m a winner again and it feels great,” he said. “I think today was the best round of my career.”
2 – Danny Willett began the final day at Saujana with a three shot lead but he struggled to find his form over the closing 18 holes. The Englishman dropped five shots in a round of 73 and ended the week in a tie for 5th with China’s Li Haotong.
Danny Willett swing sequence:
3 – It was a good week for David Lipsky as he secured his place in the WGC – Mexico Championship at the start of March. The American closed with a 67 to claim second place on his own. He had a chance to catch Zanotti but was unable to birdie the par-5 last.
“I’m really happy with this week all in all. My goal was to finish top three or so to try and lock myself up for the WGC in Mexico and I did that so I’m pretty proud of the way I handled myself this week,” he said. “There was a lot of slope and grain on these greens and late in the day they get a little bit bumpy so it was hard for me to hold the line and all you can do is put a good stroke on it. I did the best I could do. Hats off to Fabrizio because he played great – 63 in the final round, most of the time that’s going to get the job done so I can’t think too much about it.”
Saujana G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Purse €2,770,000 par 72
1 Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 70 69 67 63 269 €461,689
2 David Lipsky (USA) 68 67 68 67 270 €307,790
3 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 69 63 73 66 271 €173,410
4 Alex Levy (Fra) 69 68 67 68 272 €138,507
T5 Li Haotong (Chn) 71 69 68 65 273 €107,204
T5 Danny Willett (Eng) 66 67 67 73 273 €107,204
T7 Anirban Lahiri (Ind) 69 68 69 68 274 €76,179
T7 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 70 65 70 69 274 €76,179
T9 Panuphol Pittayarat (Tha) 70 69 66 71 276 €58,727
T9 Shubhankar Sharma (Ind) 68 68 71 69 276 €58,727
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage