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Paratore claims maiden title in Sweden

Renato Paratore of Italy holds the winners trophy after winning The Nordea Masters at Barseback Golf & Country Club. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Renato Paratore of Italy holds the winners trophy after winning The Nordea Masters at Barseback Golf & Country Club. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Renato Paratore won his first European Tour title as he held off the challenge of Chris Wood and defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick to claim the Nordea Masters at Barsebäck Golf and Country Club.

The Italian entered the final day a shot behind Wood and showed real guts to save par on the last three holes and sign for a 70 and an 11 under par total, leaving the Englishman needing a par up the last to set up a play-off.

With the 20 year old looking on from the clubhouse, Wood hit a ragged tee-shot into the trees and recorded a bogey as Paratore became the youngest winner on Tour since countryman and GolfSixes partner Matteo Manassero won the BMW PGA Championship in 2013.

Fitzpatrick had birdied the last to sign for a 68 and set the target at ten under on a rainy day in Malmö but ultimately fell a shot short of a play-off.

South African George Coetzee and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen finished at nine under par, a shot clear of Frenchman Matthieu Pavon.

Paratore’s victory comes in his 83rd appearance and will move him into the top 150 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Coetzee had started the day seven shots off the lead but set the course record with a brilliant 66 containing nine birdies, the last of which was a stunning chip-in on the 15th.

He still held the lead as the final group started the back nine and at one point there was a five-way tie for the lead between Coetzee, Donaldson, Olesen, Wood and Paratore.

It was the latter two who broke out of the pack as they recovered from shaky starts with Paratore having bogeyed the third but he got back under par for the day thanks to an excellent tee-shot on the par three eighth and a right-to-lefter on the ninth.

Wood had made bogeys on the first, third and seventh but birdied the sixth and ninth to turn in 37 before a six-footer on the tenth had him back in that share of the lead.

Paratore took advantage of the par five 12th before Wood repeated the trick but it was Paratore who edged ahead again with a 25-foot putt on the 14th.

An excellent approach to the 16th moved Wood back into a share of the lead while Paratore made clutch putts for par on the 16th and 17th in what was proving to be a nervy finish.

Another good par save followed on the last and when Wood had to take a drop after sending his final tee-shot into the trees, the trophy belonged to Paratore.

Player Quotes

Renato Paratore: “I feel really great. The first win, I will remember this my entire life. Also to be here at a nice tournament like this with this crowd has been really good.

“It feels amazing to be in the winner’s circle with Italians like the Molinaris, Manassero and Rocca.

“It was a little bit stressful for me at the end. Chris is a really solid player so I was expecting a play-off. Then when he made a bogey I was a little bit less stressed!

“I played really well the first day here, and on the third day. Today I really had to keep a good attitude because I didn’t play well. But the short game helped me a lot today

“On the eighth and ninth holes I made two birdies to get back to one under. That gave me a lot of confidence. Then on the last three holes I had three good pars without hitting the ball very well.

“The tee shots were not easy, I wasn’t hitting very well from the tee. But then I was putting and chipping well, so it was good.”

Matthew Fitzpatrick: “It’s the best I’ve played in quite a while. I was hitting it nicely tee to green and I managed to make the putts as well, so particularly in this weather it was great.

“Obviously I didn’t have a great start to the round, well I started really well with a birdie on the first, but the double on three wasn’t ideal.

“I managed to battle back, and I’m delighted the way I have done and come back by giving myself some great chances and managed to make them.”

Chris Wood: “That round probably summarised how I felt my game was this week. It was a little bit scrappy with some really good stuff in there as well. All week I feel like I’ve been fighting my swing and probably surprised myself with a lot of the good shots I hit this week. 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, well it’s some points on the board and should nudge me back into the U.S. Open in a few weeks time, and that’s what I came here to do really.

“Overall we’ve had a great week, but it’s hard when you can’t close it out. We all hit bad shots but considering my start I battled away like I always do, but yeah it’s quite hard to take.”

ThorbjØrn Olesen: “It was a tough round for me to say the least. I think I hit a total of four fairways today, so it was just a tough round and I didn’t play good enough.

“It was amazing actually to walk around on the back nine and still have a chance to win. I was fighting and fighting and trying my best all the way round, but there was not much more I could do. Minus two for the week was a pretty good score for the way I played.

“It was a tough day but I was fighting very well and it was good to see Renato playing that well.

“It’s been a great week, I’ve had so much support from the Danes and the Swedes. It’s been a pleasure walking around out there and trying to win.”

George Coetzee: “I’ve been thinking all week that this golf course really suits me and I should be playing better. Luckily I got it in just before the end of the event.

“It’s always nice to get a course record. I haven’t done it for a while. It’s nice to get your name up on the board.

“The bogie on the first actually kicked me into gear. It told me to just stick to the routine, stick to the game plan, play the shots.

“The chip in really helped. When I birdied 11 I knew there were a couple of par fives to come and if I could just get a couple more. I started to give myself little targets to aim at, which you probably shouldn’t do. I kind of stuck to the routine. I birdied 12 after hitting a nice pitch close, and obviously getting the chip in at 15, I was quite happy with that.”

Round Four Scores

281 R Paratore (Ita) 68 72 71 70,

282 M Fitzpatrick (Eng) 73 70 71 68, C Wood (Eng) 74 68 68 72,

283 T Olesen (Den) 72 70 70 71, G Coetzee (RSA) 73 71 73 66,

284 M Pavon (Fra) 74 69 74 67,

285 J Donaldson (Wal) 69 69 75 72,

286 B Hebert (Fra) 70 71 70 75, E Pepperell (Eng) 70 74 71 71, J Wang (Kor) 72 71 70 73, N Colsaerts (Bel) 73 72 72 69, A Sullivan (Eng) 73 71 73 69, M Siem (Ger) 74 73 71 68, A Connelly (Can) 72 70 73 71,

287 A Noren (Swe) 75 70 71 71, B Dredge (Wal) 69 74 74 70, C Blomstrand (Swe) 74 72 72 69, A Levy (Fra) 74 72 68 73, M Orrin (Eng) 68 73 72 74, L Westwood (Eng) 73 72 72 70,

288 J Smith (Eng) 75 70 72 71, S Jamieson (Sco) 73 71 74 70, G Bourdy (Fra) 73 74 68 73, R Fox (Nzl) 75 72 71 70, N Lemke (Swe) 75 71 70 72,

289 L Haotong (Chn) 70 75 72 72, H Stenson (Swe) 73 72 75 69, J Guerrier (Fra) 73 73 71 72, J Lima (Por) 71 73 70 75,

290 N Kimsey (Eng) 74 73 74 69, A Cañizares (Esp) 76 71 68 75, S Chawrasia (Ind) 71 73 71 75, K Broberg (Swe) 73 72 71 74, D Lipsky (USA) 75 72 72 71, R Green (Aus) 72 71 75 72,

291 E De La Riva (Esp) 76 71 71 73, J Van Zyl (RSA) 72 74 71 74, J Edfors (Swe) 77 69 75 70, P Waring (Eng) 75 71 75 70, R Ramsay (Sco) 73 72 73 73,

292 T Lewis (Eng) 71 72 78 71, G Storm (Eng) 73 68 75 76, L Canter (Eng) 74 72 72 74, S Kapur (Ind) 73 73 71 75, K Aphibarnrat (Tha) 73 72 76 71, S Soderberg (Swe) 71 73 73 75,

293 R Karlberg (Swe) 72 75 76 70, R Sterne (RSA) 75 68 76 74, J Fahrbring (Swe) 72 75 73 73, A Bernadet (Fra) 76 71 75 71, S Hend (Aus) 71 72 76 74, S Gros (Fra) 75 70 72 76,

294 S Gallacher (Sco) 74 71 75 74, T Jaidee (Tha) 72 73 77 72, J Winther (Den) 71 75 73 75, R Bland (Eng) 77 70 74 73,

295 S Brazel (Aus) 76 71 73 75, S Dyson (Eng) 73 73 78 71, N Elvira (Esp) 73 73 75 74, F Aguilar (Chi) 72 73 74 76, D Brooks (Eng) 73 73 73 76,

296 L Jensen (Den) 74 72 75 75, P Hanson (Swe) 73 72 74 77, L Bjerregaard (Den) 73 74 78 71,

297 A Dodt (Aus) 77 68 73 79, Z Lombard (RSA) 73 72 75 77, M Southgate (Eng) 72 74 76 75,

298 J Lagergren (Swe) 74 70 77 77, O Gillberg (am) (Swe) 76 69 76 77,

299 F Nilehn (am) (Swe) 76 70 76 77,

302 P Edberg (Swe) 72 75 76 79,

304 M Manassero (Ita) 75 72 80 77,