Matthew Fitzpatrick of England poses with his trophy after the Omega European Masters Golf Tournament in Crans-Montana. Photo: Alexandra Wey/EPA

CRANS-SUR-SIERRE – Matthew Fitzpatrick edged out Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard in a playoff on Sunday to become the first man to successfully defend the European Masters title at Crans Montana since Seve Ballesteros 40 years ago.

The 24-year-old Englishman, who missed out on a Ryder Cup wildcard pick earlier this week, birdied the 18th hole to reach 17-under par for the tournament and force a playoff, before repeating the feat on the first sudden-death hole to claim victory.

It was Fitzpatrick's fifth European Tour title in only three years.

The world number 44 took a two-shot lead into the final day, but started slowly with two bogeys in the first six holes to slip two strokes adrift of Bjerregaard.

But he steadied the ship and a birdie at the par-five 15th saw him cut the gap to just a single shot.

His playing partner, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, led briefly before a costly double-bogey on 14, and both were left needing to birdie the last to tie Bjerregaard in the clubhouse.

Lorenzo-Vera bogeyed, but Fitzpatrick fired an excellent iron shot to just a few feet and converted the putt with ease.

Another strong approach to the same green followed just minutes later, with a dead-eyed putt securing the win.

Agence France-Presse (AFP)