Renato Paratore claims 1st European Tour title at Nordea Masters

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Renato Paratore claims 1st European Tour title at Nordea Masters

Euro Tour

Renato Paratore claims 1st European Tour title at Nordea Masters

Renato Paratore claimed his first European Tour title with victory in the $1.7 million Nordea Masters at Barseback Golf & Country Club Malmo, Sweden. The European Tour’s fastest player became the Tour’s youngest winner since countryman Matteo Manassero won the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

The 20-year-old from Rome defeated England’s Chris Wood by a shot with a final round 3-under 70 to reach 11 under. A birdie at the last would have given Wood the title, and a par would have forced a playoff. However, the Englishman hit his tee shot into the trees and recorded a bogey.

Fellow Englishman and defending champion Matthew Fitzpatrick recorded a closing 5-under 68 to set the clubhouse target of 10 under. He finished second alongside Wood.

South African George Coetzee set a new course record with a closing 7-under 66 to finish fourth at nine under alongside Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.

Paratore bogeyed the par-4 third hole to start his final round, but birdied the eighth, ninth, 12th and 14th to get to 11 under. He held his nerve over the final three holes, saving par on each.

“I couldn’t be happier right now,” Paratore said. “I really enjoyed this win.

“I was one behind the leader so I thought if I played well I could win. In these tough conditions I kept a good attitude until the end.

“The eighth and the ninth got me back in contention with two birdies, that was a key moment, and the last three holes I managed three very good putts. The last three holes were very good.”

The win takes Paratore to 35h on the European money list with just over $400,000 in earnings from 14 events this season.

Paratore’s victory will please the purists since he is probably the quickest player on the European circuit.

The win comes as no surprise. Great things have been expected of Paratore since he came to prominence in 2013 when he reached the quarterfinals of the British Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports.

In 2014, he won the gold medal in the Youth Olympics in China. He was also a member of two junior European Ryder Cup teams and won the 2014 Portuguese Amateur Championship.

Paratore only entered the 2014 European Tour Qualifying to see how his game measured against the professionals. His game stacked up well: aged 17 years and 341 days, he took the third card to become the third youngest player to claim a card at the school.

Now he’s become a winner aged just 20. Many feel he’s got the game to go on to become Italy’s most prolific winner.

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