Fernandez-Castano wins Italian Open in playoff

Fernandez-Castano wins Italian Open in playoff

MILAN, Italy (AP) — Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano beat Markus Brier in a playoff Sunday to win the rain-shortened Italian Open.

After finishing at 16-under 200 after 54 holes, Fernandez-Castano sank a five-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to win.

It was the 26-year-old Spaniard’s third European tour title. He also won the Dutch Open in 2005 and the Asian Open in 2006.

Nick Dougherty (70), Henrik Nystrom (66), Fredrik Andersson Hed (64) and defending champion Francesco Molinari (65) were tied for third, one shot back.

Fernandez-Castano started the final round five shots behind Andrew McLardy before getting five birdies and an eagle on the back nine at the Castello di Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club for a 7-under 65.

Brier (68) qualified for the playoff with birdies at the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 16th and 17th holes. He bogeyed the 6th.

The tournament was reduced to 54 holes Saturday after more than 12 hours of play was lost because to bad weather.

Dougherty, a protege of six-time major champion Nick Faldo, opened with an eagle and was three clear with nine holes to play, but bogeyed the 12th and 17th.

McLardy could not improve on Saturday’s 14-under total – shooting 72 to finish in a four-way tie for seventh.

Tom Lehman, last year’s American Ryder Cup captain who was playing his first Italian Open on a special invitation, shot 70 to finish at 8 under.

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