Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Sports | By Grace Becker

European Masters: Scott Hend leads Matt Fitzpatrick as round three suspended

European Masters: Scott Hend leads Matt Fitzpatrick as round three suspended

Hend acknowledged that "I had the opportunity and I didn't take it. Fitzpatrick played great to win".

He had started the round three shots behind Australian Hend but the pair had to settle for a play-off. "I didn't hit a good drive on 14, missed a seven-footer for birdie on 10 and I left one three inches short on 13 too so obviously if you make those shots I'm leading by one".

Hend again pocketed 300,000 euros ($361,000) for losing the title in a playoff for the second straight year.

After a rain-affected day on Saturday, both players had holes to complete before they could start their final round.

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Fitzpatrick, a Ryder Cup debutant a year ago, acknowledged thinking that Hend would seize that chance after his own four metre birdie putt slid by the hole.

"We kept our nerve and played really smart all week".

Hend was defeated by an Alex Noren birdie on the first extra hole here last season en route to finishing a career-high 27th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

But world number 48 Fitzpatrick, 23, looked to have carved out a tournament-winning lead as a trio of birdies on the back nine put him two clear with two holes remaining.

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The Englishman actually held a two-shot advantage at one stage, before Hend's birdie at 15th made it one and then Fitzpatrick bogeyed 17th.

The 44-year-old Australian maintained his one-shot lead with his second round performance highlighted by an eagle on the seventh hole and five other birdies at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club here on Friday.

Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay and Asian Tour rookie Todd Sinnott of Australia stayed four shots off the pace in third place following respective rounds of 66, 65 and 66.

Defending champion Noren did complete his round and is within six shots of Hend after a two-under 68.

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