Robert MacIntyre has clinched victory at the Italian Open after a winning putt at the first play-off hole. The Scot edged Matt Fitzpatrick, who he was tied with at 14 under. Both MacIntyre and Fitzpatrick fought well in a highly-competitive final round to force the game into a play-off. But it was McIntyre who went home with the title after clearing the play-off in just one hole. Frenchman Victor Perez came third after finishing 13 under, while Rory McIlroy’s 12 under saw him settle for fourth.
The final round began with Fitzpatrick at the lead, one shot ahead of McIlroy. But failing to make any birdies until the 11th hole saw Fitzpatrick’s lead dwindle, giving the opportunity for MacIntyre, who made 10 birdies in total on Sunday, to gain the lead, and he looked well on course to win until Fitzpatrick’s birdie forced a play-off.
Still, this day was destined to earn in MacIntyre’s favour after Fitzpatrick failed to make the extra hole in two shots and settled for par. MacIntyre got to the hole and made a birdie to seal victory.
The victory marks MacIntyre’s second DP World Tour title in his career, as his last title was 48 events ago. He now has hopes that he would make the Ryder Cup selection for next year.
Reacting to his victory, talking to Sky Sports, he said: “This means everything. I was down and out about three months ago. I didn’t know what I was doing, didn’t know where to go.
“But we spoke to the right people, started working with (coach) Simon Shanks. There’s so much work gone into this, Mike (Thomson), my caddie, family, friends, everyone.
“I hit a terrible shot on 15 and thought it was backs against the wall. But we dug in. I’ve got a dogged attitude, I never give up, and if I get punched, I punch back.”