Alex Noren wins European Masters in playoff with Scott Hend

Noren shot 66 to finish on 12 under going into the final day, with England's Richard Bland, who led after day two, finishing two shots further back following a 69.

Fitzpatrick was seven over par for his first 14 holes on Thursday and eventually signed for a 75, but went 10 shots better yesterday and survived on the mark of level par thanks to four birdies in the last five holes.

It was advantage Noren on the last when he split the fairway after Hend hooked his tee shot into the trees, but the 43-year-old Australian took on the fearless recovery shot and was rewarded when his approach pitched 10 yards short of the green and bounced over the water - just as Noren's had done on Saturday.

Hend duck-hooked his tee shot at the 18th but enjoyed a huge slice of fortune when his second pitched short of the stream at the front of the green and hopped onto the putting surface, and he got up and down from the rear rough to force extra holes. After again hooking his drive into the trees but seeing the ball bounce across the fairway, Hend only just cleared the water with his approach before chipping to five feet, but Noren made certain of the win by holing his long birdie attempt. "I ve never won a play-off on the European Tour, so it feels even more incredible", said Noren, who took some time off earlier in the year when his partner had a baby.

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"I'm quite sure I will be on the European Tour next year, so I play without pressure", said Langasque, who leads the money list on the second-tier Challenge Tour. "I took some time off after we had a baby, it's great to have the family with me here to celebrate". "I was just trying to hang in there and finish up with some good birdies", added the Swede. My driver hasn't been my good side but now it is steadier.

With one win, one runner-up result and three other top-10s this season, Noren, a five-time European Tour victor, launched his title charge by firing five birdies against one bogey. I tried to hit way past the pin but my caddie thought I needed one more club and I thought it was enough with what I hit.

Among the other members of Europe's Ryder Cup contingent, defending champion and early leader Danny Willett finished 12th on nine under, having been 10 shots off the pace overnight, with Chris Wood in 49th on two under.

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