Matt Fitzpatrick hangs tough to conquer Valderrama

Englishman put together a closing bogey-free round of 69 to win by three shots

Matt Fitzpatrick celebrates as he putts out for victory on the 18th hole during day four of The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters at Real Club Valderrama. Photo: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Matt Fitzpatrick celebrates as he putts out for victory on the 18th hole during day four of The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters at Real Club Valderrama. Photo: Angel Martinez/Getty Images

 

Matt Fitzpatrick overcame his Ryder Cup heartbreak in his first event since Europe’s record-breaking defeat as he claimed a three-shot victory at the Andalucia Masters.

The Englishman made it two Ryder Cup appearances without a point as Europe were defeated 19-9 at Whistling Straits, losing his singles match from one up with three to play to ensure the United States won by a record margin.

But he showed no ill effects after a two-week break, carding a closing bogey-free 69 to finish at six under and hold off the challenge of Swede Sebastian Soderberg and Australia’s Min Woo Lee. Jonathan Caldwell’s final round of 74 left him well off the pace at 14 over par in 65th place.

Fitzpatrick started the day three shots off the lead but 15 consecutive pars were enough to edge him closer to the top of the leaderboard at the notoriously difficult 1997 Ryder Cup venue.

Soberberg had made a big move through the field, picking up four shots in his first four holes with the help of an eagle on the fourth and led by two at six under with two to play.

But the 31-year-old lost his ball off the tee at the 17th and Fitzpatrick was able to pounce, making his first birdie of the day from 10 feet on the 16th to take the lead.

He two-putted from over the back of the par-five 17th for a second birdie in a row and, with Soderberg also bogeying the last in a closing 70, it was a seventh win in as many seasons on the European Tour for the man from Sheffield.

“Winning around Valderrama is something you want to tick off on the bucket list,” he said. “To do it in the way that I did, with no bogeys in the final round was extra special.

“I felt if I could hang in there, hang around and pick up a couple of birdies if possible, pars were never a bad thing, and that’s what I did.

“You can hit half decent shots and be behind a tree and you’re chipping out or you’ve got to manoeuvre something, it’s a true test and to be patient the whole 72 holes, I’m really pleased with the way my attitude was all week.”

Lee carded a 70 to share second with Soderberg, a shot clear of a group containing Englishmen Laurie Canter, James Morrison and Robert Rock.

Canter had entered the day with a three-shot lead but carded a closing 76, eight shots more than Morrison, while Rock signed for a 69.

Final scores from the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters (British unless stared, Par 71)

278 Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 71 68 70 69

281 Min-Woo Lee (Aus) 73 71 67 70, Sebastian Soederberg (Swe) 70 69 72 70

282 Laurie Canter (Eng) 74 65 67 76, David Lipsky (USA) 71 75 64 72, Alexander Bjoerk (Swe) 72 71 70 69, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 70 69 74 69, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 73 70 70 69, Robert Rock (Eng) 72 68 73 69, James Morrison (Eng) 72 73 69 68

283 Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 73 70 68 72, Daniel Gavins (Eng) 71 72 72 68, John Catlin (USA) 73 74 69 67, Romain Langasque (Fra) 69 69 73 72

284 Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 70 72 72 70, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 74 71 70 69, Jordan Smith (Eng) 73 72 70 69, Andrew Johnston (Eng) 70 73 72 69, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 72 71 73 68

285 Thorbjoern Olesen (Den) 72 72 71 70, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 71 72 72 70, Gavin Green (Mal) 74 73 71 67, Scott Jamieson (Sco) 72 68 74 71, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 75 71 66 73

286 Aaron Rai (Eng) 72 71 72 71, Rafael Cabrera (Spa) 68 74 73 71, Sami Valimaki (Fin) 72 72 73 69, Renato Paratore (Ita) 71 70 70 75, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 71 69 74 72, Sebastian Garcia (Spa) 72 71 70 73, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 73 73 69 71, Ashley Chesters (Eng) 72 72 72 70, David Horsey (Eng) 73 72 71 70, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 71 70 74 71, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 67 73 73 73, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 71 76 68 71

287 Joost Luiten (Ned) 73 71 73 70, Callum Shinkwin (Eng) 74 71 71 71, Wil Besseling (Ned) 70 74 71 72, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 73 72 71 71

288 Jorge Campillo (Spa) 73 71 73 71, Ignacio Elvira (Spa) 72 74 70 72, David Drysdale (Sco) 76 71 70 71, Soeren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 76 74 68, Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 74 72 68 74

289 George Coetzee (Rsa) 76 71 68 74, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 73 73 71 72, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 69 73 73 74

290 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 75 72 68 75, Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 74 71 75 70, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 72 71 73 74

291 Santiago Tarrio (Spa) 74 73 71 73

292 Justin Harding (Rsa) 74 73 73 72, Robert MacIntyre (Sco) 73 74 72 73, Matthew Southgate (Eng) 71 75 73 73

293 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 77 68 72 76, Jeff Winther (Den) 74 70 74 75

294 Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 73 72 77 72, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 73 68 77 76

295 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 74 73 72 76, Paul Waring (Eng) 71 74 78 72, Alexander Levy (Fra) 75 71 77 72

296 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 74 73 74 75

297 Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 74 72 72 79

298 Jonathan Caldwell (NIrl) 72 75 77 74

300 Grant Forrest (Sco) 74 71 79 76

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