Robert MacIntyre, surprise playoff at the Italian Open

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Robert MacIntyre, Italian Open.

Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre won with 270 (70 69 67 64, -14) strokes a great edition of the DS Automobiles 79th Italian Open staged on the course of Marco Simone Golf #38; Country Club (par 71) in Guidonia Montecelio (Rome), the home of the 2023 Ryder Cup. He clinched his second title on the DP World Tour by overtaking England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, world number 11, (270 – 65 69 67) with whom he had finished at even par over the event’s 72 holes, with a birdie on the first playoff hole. The best of the Italians was Edoardo Molinari, 27th with 282 (-2), followed by Francesco Molinari and Guido Migliozzi, 34th with 283 (-1).

In a closely contested final round full of twists and turns, MacIntyre climbed back from seventh place with a partial score of 64 (-7, ten birdies, three bogeys), his best score of the day. With six birdies over the first nine holes, he made up six strokes to Fitzpatrick, the leader after three rounds, who remained anchored at par while Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, number two in the world rankings, was slipping out of the title race. Then the scenario changed, as the Scot slowed down. On hole 14 he posted a bogey that combined with an eagle by the Englishman, who was on 12, and lost the three-shot margin he had. In the final sprint, Frenchman Victor Perez, Englishman Aron Rai and even McIlroy tried to insert themselves late in the round, but with no luck. In the final round it was all Fitzpatrick. On hole 17 he posted a bogey, on hole 18 he made up the playoff with a birdie (67, -4, one eagle, three birdies, one bogey), but in the playoff he missed a putt by about three feet to extend it. In the wake of the two frontrunners Victor Perez, third with 271 (-13), Rory McIlroy, fourth with 272 (-12), Australian Lucas Herbert and Aaron Rai, fifth with 273 (-11).

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