Italian Renato Paratore won his second career victory on the European Tour with a win in the British Masters after finishing with a 2-under 69, his worst round of the tournament.
Kiwi Ryan Fox who had been in touch all throughout had a 3-under 68 but still finished 7 shots back from the leader and pocketed $48,000 NZD.
If it wasn’t for his rough start to day 3 where he had 3 bogies in the first 5 holes he could’ve pushed for the lead late on the final day.
On social media Fox was positive about his efforts in his return to golf after such a long layoff.
“Really enjoyed being back out there this week @closehousegolf for the @britishmasters,” Fox posted on Instagram.
“Very happy with T8th first week back. Thank you to the @europeantour for all their hard work in getting us back playing in these difficult times.”
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Paratore finished on 18 under overall, three strokes ahead of Rasmus Højgaard (70), as the European Tour made its full return following a four-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic with an event held without spectators and featuring regular COVID-19 testing of players and caddies.
“I am really happy,” Paratore said.
“I played very solid and I didn’t expect to come back and win my second title after the lockdown. I have worked really hard over the last year and I am really happy to win again.
Paratore, whose only previous European Tour title came in Sweden three years ago, made gains at the first and 14th, as well as picking up birdies at all three par fives on the course – his pitch for eagle on the 17th stopping inches short of the cup.
“Both of my wins have been tough fought on my part. In Sweden, the last day was rainy and windy, so both were tough conditions but I think that helped me because there weren’t low scores, and I was playing really good, so I was able to focus myself to stay in the lead.
At the end of his round, players from the tour gave Paratore a guard of honour with their clubs to celebrate the victory.
“It was really amazing, I didn’t expect that from my friends here on Tour (to form a guard of honour), and it was a good sensation.
“These are the moments I love and to speak to my mum, it was a big surprise and I was really happy.”
The European Tour now moves on to Birmingham next week for the Hero Open.