Andrea Pavan wins BMW International Open after play-off against Matt Fitzpatrick
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 23/06/19 4:57pm
Andrea Pavan edged out Matt Fitzpatrick at the second play-off hole to claim victory at the BMW International Open in Munich.
Pavan and Fitzpatrick finished 72 holes tied at the top on 15 under and, after they traded pars on the first extra hole, the Italian clipped a superb wedge from the rough to within three feet and rattled in the winning putt with Fitzpatrick unable to better a par-five.
Defending champion Matt Wallace bogeyed the final hole of regulation play when a birdie would have forced his way into the play-off, and he had to settle for a share of third place along with six others, including overnight leader Jordan Smith.
Pavan, who clinched his maiden European Tour title at the Czech Masters last August, finished his final round an hour before the final group, cruising to the turn in 32 and then making birdies at two of the last three holes to cap a bogey-free 66 which set the clubhouse target at 15 under par.
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Fitzpatrick emerged as the final threat to the 30-year-old and birdies at 13 and 14 had taken him to the top of the leaderboard, but he then dropped his only shot of the day at the penultimate hole before regrouping and drilling a superb three-wood to the heart of the green at long last.
The putt for eagle, and the win, was a fraction off target, but the cast-iron birdie-four completed a solid 69 and meant that Fitzpatrick and Pavan would be heading back to the 18th tee for extra holes.
Fitzpatrick then enjoyed a huge break when he blocked his second towards the water on the right, but his ball pitched and plugged just a couple of feet from the hazard.
He was not able to take full advantage and played a poor chip before missing his 20-foot putt for birdie, although he was reprieved when Pavan's 15-footer for the win was too tentative and drifted comfortably wide of the cup.
Pavan then pushed his three-wood from the tee into the rough on the right and tugged his second into further long grass on the other side of the fairway, while another well-struck fairway-wood from Fitzpatrick just failed to make the carry and trickled into the front bunker.
But Pavan pulled a great lie and knocked his third in close, and victory was assured when Fitzpatrick's bunker escape came up almost 30 feet short and he was again unable to hole out for birdie.
Spanish duo Alvaro Quiros and Rafa Cabrera Bello had earlier closed with excellent 66s to jump to 13 under par, a score later matched by Pavan's fellow Italian, Eduardo Molinari.
Wallace and Christiaan Bezuidenhout fired a pair of 70s and joined the logjam in the tie for third, which was completed when Mattias Schwab was unable to recover from back-to-back bogeys at 14 and 15 while Smith needed birdies at the final two holes to salvage a 72 after he took himself out of contention with dropped shots at 14 and 16.
Lee Westwood struggled over the front nine before three birdies after the turn earned the veteran a share of 10th on 12 under along with his 2016 Ryder Cup team-mate Thorbjorn Olesen (65), Callum Shinkwin (68) and Matthieu Pavon (70).