May 13, 2018 / 3:24 PM / 2 months ago

Lagergren beats Lorenzo-Vera in Sicilian Open playoff

(Reuters) - Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren clinched his first European Tour title at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open after nailing a clutch putt for birdie at the first playoff hole to edge Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera on Sunday.

Overnight leader Lorenzo-Vera began the final round at Verdura Golf Club with a two-shot advantage but Lagergren made a charge up the leaderboard with four birdies in his first nine holes.

A 14th-hole bogey meant the 26-year-old signed for a three-under-par 68 before Lorenzo-Vera sank a crucial birdie on the 17th to share the lead at 16-under overall after four rounds.

Lagergren needed just one extra hole to seal the victory after an inch-perfect approach ensure he made a birdie from eight feet.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole career,” he said. I’ve just been fighting so hard to get to here, it’s just awesome.

“When you’re just missing out a few times you really want to get that first win and it feels like you really need to get over that first step to then really continue and get more and more. This is a big step for me.”

Lagergren and Lorenzo-Vera finished one shot clear of Englishman Andy Sullivan and Australia’s Lucas Herbert, who matched the lowest round of the week with a 63.

Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard finished at 14-under, one shot ahead of Frenchman Julien Guerrier.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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