Golf: Italy's Paratore claims maiden title

 05 Jun 2017 - 0:39

Golf: Italy's Paratore claims maiden title
Italy's Renato Paratore poses for photographers with the trophy after winning the Golf Masters 2017 at Barseback Golf Club, yesterday.

AFP

Malmö, Sweden:  Italy's Renato Paratore opened his European Tour account with victory on Sunday in the Nordea Masters at Malmo's Barseback Golf Club.

The 20-year-old Roman saved par after an errant drive on the 18th to card a fourth round 70, finishing with an 11 under par total of 281.

Paratore becomes the youngest player to win an EPGA title since his fellow Italian, Matteo Manassero, claimed the Castello Masters in 2010 aged 17.

Overnight leader Chris Wood, playing in the group behind, was on target to trigger a play-off but the Englishman had to settle for a share of second after pulling his tee shot on the last into the trees.

Forced to take a penalty and closing with a bogey Wood finished one shot behind with compatriot and title-holder Matt Fitzpatrick.

Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and South Africa's George Coetzee, who surged up the leaderboard with a closing 66, shared fourth place on nine under.

Paratore was understandably ecstatic at his career breakthrough.

"I couldn't be happier now. This win means a lot to me. I was one behind the leader so I knew if I played well I could win and in these tough conditions I kept a good attitude until the end.

"The key points were on eight and nine where I made birdie to come back after a bit of a difficult start. I played more or less solid and the last three holes I managed three very good pars.

"It's big for my confidence because I was looking for this win the last year and now I've achieved that."

Wood, who started the final round one shot clear of Paratore and France's Benjamin Hebert, said of his closing 72: "It probably summarised how I felt with my game this week, a little bit scrappy with some really good stuff in there as well."

"Your flaws come out when you're under pressure.

"It's obviously disappointing but I'm sure after a couple of days I'll think it's some points on the board, should nudge me back in for the US Open."