Matt Fitzpatrick misses out on BMW International Open title after play-off defeat
Matt Fitzpatrick missed out on a sixth European Tour win after losing a play-off to Andrea Pavan at the BMW International Open.
A pair of poor shots on the second play-off hole effectively ended the Sheffield golfer’s chances and paved the way for his Italian rival to take the title.
Though there will be plenty of disappointment on coming so close to winning the tournament, Fitzpatrick will take great heart from his continued recent improvement heading towards The Open at Portrush next month.
He backed up a tie for 12th at the US Open the previous week with three days of excellent golf in Munich.
The Sheffield golfer was firmly in contention at the end of day three after his best score of the week, a seven under par 65, left him in a tie for second.
Such a position was amazing after a weather interrupted first round when it appeared he would have trouble making the cut.
He was delivering a steady performance in the final round, parring each of the first eight holes before making his birdie.
But the run of Pavan made progression necessary, with the Italian well on his way towards a six under par 66 to climb eight places.
Fitzpatrick made back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 to move atop the leaderboard.
But it appeared as though his chances had waned when carding his first bogey of the afternoon on the 17th.
It left him needing to be aggressive on the final hole and he was just that, drilling a three wood onto the green with a brilliant second shot to give himself a brilliant opportunity to at least match Pavan's score.
He was in fact inches away from winning the tournament outright, sending his lengthy putt on the perfect line but just short of dropping in the cup.
He appeared to have the advantage on the first play-off hole on the 18th, after a great drive but shanked his second - again with the three wood - towards the water and slammed his club down in anger.
Amazingly, it plugged mere inches shy of the water - keeping his hopes alive after Pavan had produced a fine lay-up.
But he left his pitch onto the green short, handing the initiative to Pavan, who could not take it.
The play-off would take place entirely on the 18th, so the two men headed back to the tee.
Pavan produced a stunning approach shot with his third, rolling the ball up to within a couple of feet which firmly piled the pressure on Fitzpatrick who had found the bunker with his second.
Fitzpatrick caught his shot heavy, leaving it well short. He was then aggressive with his putt but could not find the hole.
And Pavan roled in a birdie putt to take the victory.
Fitzpatrick will look to maintain his good form at the Andalucía Masters later this week.