Sebastian Soderberg had been leading by two shots with two holes to play, but a late collapse, combined with some fantastic golf from Matt Fitzpatrick, handed the Andalucía Masters trophy to the Englishman.
Matt Fitzpatrick Claims Valderrama Title After Late Soderberg Collapse
After a superb birdie at the par-3 15th, Sebastian Soderberg stood two shots clear with two holes remaining.
However, a lost drive to the right on the par-5 17th led to a double-bogey, with a bogey at the last almost securing his fate as Matt Fitzpatrick pounced to claim his seventh European Tour title.
The Englishman had been enduring an extremely tactical round, with a number of birdie chances failing to drop at the difficult Valderrama layout.
But, after 15 straight pars, he made back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th, which catapulted him into a comfortable three-shot lead playing the treacherous last.
Striping a high draw down the middle, the two-time Ryder Cup player made yet another par to cap off a superb display and three-shot victory.
“This win has been on the bucket list,” said Fitzpatrick after his round, “with all of the history Valderrama has, and to do it bogey free on Sunday is extra special. I’m delighted.”
Starting the final round, it was Englishman Laurie Canter who began the day three shots clear of the field, but he was soon joined by Soderberg who started with two birdies and an eagle.
Despite a birdie at the 5th, Canter would double bogey and then bogey the 6th and 7th to drop back out of contention, with a closing 76 good enough for a T4 finish.
As Canter struggled, it was soon becoming a tense race between a whole host of players, with Soderberg becoming the front runner, carving out a two shot lead with only a handful of holes left.
But a five shot swing between Fitzpatrick and Soderberg over the last three holes, saw a two-shot lead go to a three-shot buffer, with Fitzpatrick closing out in fine style to win.
“I was very patient all day,” Fitzpatrick added, “I didn’t try and press anything and managed to hole the putts at the end.
“You can hit half decent shots here and be punished for it. It’s a true test and I’m just super pleased with how my attitude has been all week.”
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