Matt Fitzpatrick defends Ryder Cup nightmare to win Andalucia Masters at Valderrama


att Fitzpatrick marked his return to action after a nightmarish Ryder Cup with his seventh European Tour success at the Andalucia Masters.

Fitzpatrick was part of the European squad that lost to the United States by a record 19-9 margin at Whistling Straits and failed to register a point, having also shut out on his debut five years earlier.

But he showed no ill effects after a two-week break, scoring a closing 69 without a bogey to finish at six under and fend off the challenge of Swede Sebastian Soderberg and Australian Min Woo Lee.

Fitzpatrick started the day three nods but 15 straight starts were enough to bring him closer to the top of the standings at the notoriously difficult 1997 Ryder Cup venue.

Soberberg had taken a big step into the field, picking up four shots in his first four holes with the help of an eagle in the fourth and leading by two to six cents with two to play.

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

He landed two putts from the bottom of the par-five 17th for a second consecutive birdie and, with Soderberg also bogey the last in a closing 70, it was a seventh win in as many seasons on the European Tour for the Sheffield man.

“Winning around Valderrama is something you want to tick off the bucket list,” he said. “Doing it like I did, without the bogeys in the final round, it was very special.

“I felt that if I could hang on and hang out and pick up a few birdies if possible, going was never a bad thing, and I did.

“You can hit half decent shots and be behind a tree and you tear yourself away or you have to maneuver something, it’s a real test and be patient throughout the 72 holes, I’m really happy with how my attitude was all week.



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