European tour rookie Matt Fitzpatrick secures $4.5 million British Masters title
European Tour rookie Matt Fitzpatrick, the youngest player in the field, showed the old stagers a thing or two by easing to a two-stroke triumph at the $4.55 million British Masters on Sunday (Monday NZ time).
The 21-year-old was locked in an enthralling race for the title with Dane Soren Kjeldsen until the Englishman pressed the turbo-charge button on the back nine and accelerated away from the field to finish with a 68 and a 15-under total of 269.
Fitzpatrick, who had held the lead on his own or shared it all week, snared successive birdies at the 11th and 12th before rolling home a 20-foot birdie effort at the 15th and turning to the crowd to celebrate with a double fist-pump.
The former world amateur No 1 effectively sealed his maiden tour win with a laser-guided tee shot to three feet at the short 17th and could even afford the luxury of a dropped shot at the last on a sunny but cold autumnal day at Woburn.
Kjeldsen looked as if he would make Fitzpatrick fight all the way to the finish but his bid was undermined when he took three putts from 30 feet at the 15th and followed up by slicing his drive straight up against a tree at the next hole.
The Dane ended up with a 69 for 271 and had to settle for a share of second place with Ireland’s Shane Lowry (67) and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti (69).