Italian Open: Robert MacIntyre beats Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome playoff

Robert MacIntyre’s only DP World Tour win came at the 2020 Cyprus Showdown.
-14 R MacIntyre (Sco) M Fitzpatrick (Eng) – McIntyre won on the first play-off hole; -13 V Perez (Fra); -12 R McIlroy (NI); -11 L Herbert (Aus), A Rai (Eng); -7 K Kitayama (USA); -8 T Hatton (English); -8 J Campillo (Spa), O Bekker (SA)
Other picks: -6 E Pepperell (English), J Smith (English); -5 S Jamieson (Sco), T Lewis (Eng); -1 F Molinari (Yes)
Full ranking

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre scored an emphatic victory at the Italian Open after beating US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick on the first playoff hole.

McIntyre, 26, had 10 birdies in his final seven-under par 64 after going into the round of 29 in Rome.

After 13 holes McIntyre led by three, but he bogeyed 14 and 15 to tie Fitzpatrick’s eagle on the 12th – after coming close to an albatross.

Rory McIlroy was two back at 12 under as finding water on the 16th ended his hopes.

France’s Victor Perez needed a birdie on the par-five final hole to join MacIntyre and Fitzpatrick in the play-off, but had to settle for a final par to finish third – one ahead of fourth-seeded McIlroy.

Oban man MacIntyre’s only DP World Tour win came at the Showdown in Cyprus in November 2020, but it was a far more significant win with McIlroy, Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland on the course at the Marco Simone Club, which will host next year’s Ryder. the cup

McIntyre’s victory earns him crucial Ryder Cup points and he will have high hopes of joining the likes of Fitzpatrick and McIlroy in next year’s European team in Rome.

After a stunning front nine game in which a superb approach yielded four birdie ‘shots’, the Scot looked to be rocking on the back nine when a poor drive on the 14th and a missed two-foot putt on the next resulted in bogeys. .

However, a crucial up-and-down birdie on the short par-four 16th up and down a bunker kept the Scot’s hopes alive and a terrific drive on his 72nd hole helped him make the last four.

Reigning US Open champion Fitzpatrick struggled on the greens early as he parred his opening 10 holes, but followed up with his second shot for birdie on the 11th at the par fifth, which allowed him to hole a six-foot eagle putt. .

The Englishman looked to be in control of the tournament when he par-threeed the 17th tee, but a dreadful tee shot threw him at the penultimate hole before his birdie finish secured the play-off.

Fitzpatrick appeared distraught as a camera clicked as he teed off on the first playoff hole when his ball went into the rough left.

Unable to reach the green in two, MacIntyre had to settle for a par-five when he holed a three-foot putt up and down the edge of the green to seal the win.