Noren beats Hend in play-off to secure European Masters glory
Alex Noren beat Scott Hend in a play-off to win the European Masters for the second time in his career after a back-and-forth final round on Sunday.
Australian Hend led Noren by one stroke heading into the final 18 holes at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
But Noren's five-under-par 65 and a four-under for Hend left the two tied on 17 under for the tournament.
Noren had let a two-stroke lead slip through his grasp to allow Hend back into contention, yet the Norwegian - champion in 2009 - carded a birdie on the first play-off hole and a par for his opponent left him celebrating a second win of the season.
It was a superb start from Noren, who recorded five birdies on the front nine including a streak of four in a row between the sixth and ninth holes.
A bogey at 10 followed, but Noren rebounded with further gains at 12 and 14 with Hend just about keeping pace.
The momentum swung at the par-five 15th, though, when Noren could only par and Hend birdied to pull within one.
The duo were then level after 17 when Noren missed with an eight-foot par attempt, and a par apiece at the last meant a play-off was required.
Hend got lucky after going left off the tee, but his approach shot stopped dead on the fringe of the green and Noren sank a lengthy putt for birdie to clinch the win.
Andrew Johnston finished in outright third, three strokes off the pace, while Lee Westwood showed form ahead of the Ryder Cup with a stunning seven-under-par 63 to finish fourth.
His was a score matched by Oliver Fisher, while Matt Fitzpatrick - Westwood's Ryder Cup team-mate - was in a tie for seventh after going six under.