|-14 R MacIntyre (Sco) M Fitzpatrick (Eng) – McIntyre won on the first hole of the play-offs; -13 V Perez (Fra); -12 R McIlroy (NI); -11 L Herbert (Australia), A Rai (Eng); -seven K Kitayama (USA); -8 T Hatton (Eng); -8 J Campillo (Spa), O Bekker (SA)|
|Others selected: -6 E Pepperell (Eng), J Smith (Eng); -5 S Jamieson (Sco), T Lewis (Eng); -1 F Molinari (Ita)|
Scotsman Robert MacIntyre picked up a gutsy victory at the Italian Open after edging out US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick on the first play-off hole.
McIntyre, 26, birdied 10 times in a seven-under 64 finish after going turn 29 in Rome.
After 13 holes, McIntyre led by three but bogged 14 and 15 as Fitzpatrick’s eagle on 12 – after coming close to an albatross – saw him equalise.
Rory McIlroy was two down on 12 under as finding water on 16 ended his hopes.
France’s Victor Perez needed a birdie on the final par five to join MacIntyre and Fitzpatrick in the shoot-off, but had to settle for a closing par as he finished third – one ahead of fourth-placed McIlroy.
The Oban MacIntyre man’s only previous victory on the DP World Tour came at the Cyprus Showdown in November 2020, but it was a much bigger win with McIlroy, Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland on the pitch at the Marco Simone Club, which will host next year’s Ryder. Cup.
McIntyre’s win earns him crucial Ryder Cup points and he will have high hopes of joining Fitzpatrick and McIlroy in next year’s European squad in Rome.
After his superb play on the front nine as a series of magnificent approaches yielded four ‘kick-in’ birdies, the Scot seemed to falter on the back nine as a poor drive on 14 and missed a putt from two feet to the next resulted in bogeys.
However, a crucial back and forth for a birdie from a bunker at the par-four 16th kept the Scot’s hopes alive and a huge drive on his 72nd hole helped him get his four on the last.
US Open champion Fitzpatrick struggled on the greens early on as he parried his first 10 holes, but his birdie on 11 was then followed by his second shot on net by five hitting the pin , which allowed him to punch the six-foot eagle putt. .
The Englishman appeared to be in control of the tournament as he stood at 14 under par on the par three of the 17th tee, but a terrible tee shot saw him bogey the penultimate hole before his closing birdie n ensure the dam.
Fitzpatrick seemed to be disturbed by the click of a camera on his tee shot at the first play-off as his ball went left into the rough.
Unable to reach the green in two, he had to settle for a par five as MacIntyre coolly moved up and down the edge of the green with his three-foot putt sealing the win.