Italy’s Renato Paratore claimed his first European Tour title at the Nordea Masters after overnight leader Chris Wood bogeyed the final hole in Malmo.
Paratore carded a closing 70 at Barseback Golf and Country Club to finish 11 under par, the 20-year-old crucially saving par on the 18th after being fortunate to have a shot to the green following a wayward drive.
Playing in the group behind, England’s Wood also pulled his tee shot on the last into the trees and was forced to take a penalty drop from an unplayable lie, the resulting bogey dropping him into a tie for second with compatriot Matt Fitzpatrick, the defending champion.
Fitzpatrick was left to rue a double bogey on the third after carding seven birdies in a final round of 68, with Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen and South Africa’s George Coetzee sharing fourth place on nine under.
Coetzee had surged through the field with a closing 66 which featured two bogeys in the first three holes and nine birdies, while Barseback member and Open champion Henrik Stenson finished in a tie for 26th after a 69.
Paratore is the youngest winner on the European Tour since GolfSixes team-mate Matteo Manassero, who walked the final few holes with his fellow Italian after finishing his own round. “I couldn’t be happier now. This win means a lot to me,” Paratore said. “I was one behind the leader so I knew if played well I could win and in these tough conditions I kept a good attitude until the end.
“The key points were on eight and nine where I made birdie to come back after a bit of a difficult start. I played more or less solid and the last three holes I managed three very good pars.
“It’s big for my confidence because I was looking for this win the last year and now I’ve achieved that so it’s very nice for me.”
Wood, inset, held a one-shot lead over Paratore and France’s Benjamin Hebert entering the final round and got off to a bad start with bogeys on the first and third, but bounced back with three birdies in four holes around the turn.
Another birdie on the par-five 16th took him level with Paratore, who had picked up shots on the 12th and 14th, only for the final tee shot to prove decisive.
“It probably summarised how I felt with my game this week, a little bit scrappy with some really good stuff in there as well,” Wood said of his closing 72. “All week I feel like I’ve been fighting my swing and probably surprised myself as to a lot of the good shots I hit this week.
“Your flaws come out when you’re under pressure and left’s been my bad shot for a while now.
“It’s obviously disappointing but I’m sure after a couple of days I’ll think it’s some points on the board, should nudge me back in for the US Open and that’s what I came here to do really.
“Overall we’ve had a great week, but it’s hard when you can’t close it out.”
Wood is set to climb into the top 60 in the world rankings when they are updated today and needs to stay there until 12 June in order to secure his place in the year’s second major championship at Erin Hills.