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Andrea Pavan denies Padraig Harrington at Czech Masters

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-08-27 01:50:13

Andrea Pavan held off Padraig Harrington in an entertaining final-round showdown to clinch his maiden European Tour title at the D+D Real Czech Masters.

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D+D Real Czech Masters

Harrington looked likely to land his first win in almost two years when he opened up a three-shot lead at the turn, but the impressive Pavan made five birdies coming home to return a 67 and claim a two-stroke victory on 22 under par, a new tournament record.

The leading pair were tied for the lead overnight, and it was Harrington who made the first move when he holed from 15 feet for birdie at the first, and the Irishman suddenly found himself two clear when Pavan bogeyed the next before both traded birdes at the sixth.

Harrington then capped an outward 33 with another gain at the long ninth, but Pavan hauled himself back into contention with a sublime up-and-down from sand at the 10th before converting a precise pitch to the 12th as Harrington failed to take advantage of either of the par-fives.

But the three-time major champion hit back in style when he came within a whisker of a hole-in-one at the 13th and tapped in for birdie to restore his two-shot cushion, although an inspired Pavan knocked a nice approach to six feet at 14 and rattled in the chance.

Harrington then made a crucial error at the next as a wayward drive led to his first dropped shot of the day, and Pavan claimed the outright lead for the first time when he drained a perfect 25-foot putt for a two at the short 16th having narrowly cleared the water hazard with his tee shot.

Pavan consolidated his advantage by rolling in a composed 15-footer for his fifth birdie in eight holes at the 17th, and the Italian held his nerve to make a winning par at the last to spark emotional celebrations on the 72nd green.

"It's amazing, it's massive," said the 29-year-old. "I've won four times on the Challenge Tour but it was a long time ago. I'll enjoy this one because it's really hard to get and I'll just keep working on the stuff that seems to be working and enjoy the success.

"Padraig has got so much experience, he's such a great player and he played lovely. The putt on 16 was massive for me. It could have easily gone both ways, he was ahead of me most of the day but after I got ahead I stayed aggressive."

Harrington's consolation was his best finish in a European Tour event since winning his 15th title in Portugal towards the end of the 2016 season, his three-under 69 ensuring a runner-up finish with Malaysian Gavin Green three strokes further back on 17 under.

Lee Slattery and Scott Jamieson shared fourth on 15 under just ahead of Tom Lewis, who reeled off four birdies in five holes around the turn before his hopes ended when he found water off the tee at the 16th and ran up a double-bogey five.

Meanwhile, Ryder Cup hopefuls Eddie Pepperell and Thomas Pieters were unable to mount a significant final-day challenge as both fired 71s to finish in a nine-way share of ninth.

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