MacIntyre wins in Italy with Herbert fifth

·2-min read

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre has defeated US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick in a play-off to win his second European Tour title in the Italian Open.

MacIntyre birdied the first extra hole at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, the venue for next year's Ryder Cup, after he and Fitzpatrick had finished tied on 14 under par, a shot ahead of France's Victor Perez, on Sunday.

Pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy, who was within a shot of the lead until hitting his tee shot on the 16th into the water, finished fourth on 12 under.

Australian Lucas Herbert, who had also been in the mix for victory, ended up having to settle for joint-fifth place at 11 under

"This means everything," MacIntyre said.

"I was down and out two or 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 and I've hit two of the perfect golf shots into the last there. There's so much hard work gone into this.

"I've got a dogged attitude, never give up. I get punched but I punch back. The birdies coming in were massive and thankfully I got one there in the play-off."

MacIntyre began the final round three shots off Fitzpatrick's lead, but stormed to the top of the leaderboard with six birdies in a front nine of 29.

A bogey on the 10th briefly halted MacIntyre's charge, but he birdied the 12th and 13th and at that point was three clear of Fitzpatrick, who had followed 10 straight pars with a birdie on the 11th.

However, Fitzpatrick then came agonisingly close to an albatross on the par-five 12th as his approach from 212 yards hit the centre of the pin and left him just three feet for eagle, while MacIntyre was dropping a shot on the 14th.

MacIntyre also bogeyed the 15th but birdied the 16th and 18th to set the clubhouse target, with Fitzpatrick also making a birdie on the final hole to force the play-off after dropping a shot on the 17th.

Herbert, who'd been just two shots behind going into the final round, effectively lost his chance with a bogey at the 10th.

Three subsequent birdies in the last seven holes for a three-under par 68 was not enough to drag him into the championship duel.