Bernd Wiesberger held off the challenge of England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick to clinch his third win of the season at the Italian Open as Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre secured a top-five finish in Rome.
Austrian Wiesberger carded a bogey-free 65 to overturn a three-shot deficit and beat overnight leader Fitzpatrick by one – condemning the 2016 Ryder Cup star to a fifth runners-up finish of the 2019 campaign worldwide.
American Kurt Kitayama finished third at 12 under, a shot clear of MacIntyre who was tied for fourth place with England’s Andrew Johnston and Austria’s Matthias Schwab on 11 under.
Fitzpatrick had started the day with a one-shot lead but a double-bogey after going out of bounds off the tee on the ninth proved costly.
The Yorkshireman picked up three shots on the back nine to finish but could only par the last after leaving himself 35 feet for a birdie that would have moved him to 15 under and into a play-off.
“It was a bit crap,” he told europeantour.com after carding a closing 69. “To lose by one is obviously very disappointing.
“It is what it is. It’s still a great week. I’m here to win and not here to just make up the numbers.”
Wiesberger made a hat-trick of birdies from the fifth and added another on the ninth to share the lead before Fitzpatrick’s error left him two ahead.
Excellent tee-shots on the 14th and 16th handed the 34-year-old two more birdies and a 16-under total.
Wiesberger missed the last seven months of the 2018 season with a wrist injury but now sits at the top of the Race to Dubai and has made a flying start in his quest to make a Ryder Cup debut in 2020.
“It’s been a great summer for me,” he said. “I’ve won three times this year and it’s been the same every time, I’ve just really enjoyed my time and I’m positive to be back out there because I know how tough it was when I had to withdraw from these great events.”
Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher finished in a share of 25th place at four under par.