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Late birdies lift Matthew Fitzpatrick to Euro Tour victory in Spain

Late birdies lift Matthew Fitzpatrick to Euro Tour victory in Spain

Patience was a virtue for Matthew Fitzpatrick on Sunday at the Estrella Damm Andalucia Open.

The 27-year-old Englishman made par on the first 15 holes of his final round at Real Club Valderamma in Sotogrande, Spain, biding his time before making two late birdies to claim a three-stroke victory over Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg and Australia’s Min Woo Lee. In doing so, Fitzpatrick notched his seventh career European Tour victory in his eight years as a member.

Of winning at Valderrama, site of the 1997 Ryder Cup, Fitzpatrick said: “It’s on the bucket list with the history that it has,” and added, “it’s extra special, particularly the way I did it.”

In the record book, it will go down as Fitzpatrick shooting a bogey-free 2-under 69 for a 72-hole total of 6-under 278 and a three-stroke victory at the Andalucia Open. But as the announcers noted, Fitzpatrick was “patience personified.” He canned a 15-foot par putt from the back fringe at the fifth green and made a clutch sand save a few holes later to keep his card spotless. Meanwhile, 54-hole leader Laurie Canter struggled throughout in his search for his first victory, closing in 76 and part of a seven-way tie for…

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