Andrea Pavan claims first win at Czech Masters


Andrea Pavan produced a late challenge to overcome Padraig Harrington and win his first title on the European Tour at the D+D Real Czech Masters

Another week, another first time winner. Andrea Pavan followed Richard McEvoy and Paul Waring as the third player to claim their maiden victory on the European Tour after more than 100 starts.

For Pavan it was 112th time lucky after five birdies on the back nine helped him set a new tournament record at 22-under-par and win the title by two shots. 

"This win feels unreal!," Pavan wrote on social media afterwards. "I cannot believe how far I have come in just 12 months. A massive thank you to my wife, my family, my coach, my caddie and everyone who helped me get here on a Sunday afternoon to hold this trophy!"

Pavan and Harrington began the final round tied for the lead, but it was the three time major champion that quickly pushed ahead with a birdie on the first before increasing his lead as Pavan dropped his only shot of the day at the second. 

Both players made birdies on the sixth but once again Harrington remained in control after finding his third gain of the day at the ninth to open up a three shot lead at the turn. 

From there, Pavan found a different gear as he opened up with birdies on the 10th and 12th holes to reduce the gap to one. Harrington birdied the next to regain a two shot advantage but Pavan responded with a gain on the 14th to keep the gap at one shot with four to play. 

An untimely dropped shot from Harrington on the 15th hole brought the pair level, but it was the less experienced of the two who pushed ahead over the final holes. 

Pavan made his fourth birdie of the back nine to move ahead at the 16th, before rolling in a 15-footer for on the 17th to consolodate his advantage. On the final hole, a par was enough to secure a two-shot victory for the Italian.

Pavan previously had four Challenge Tour wins, having won the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2013 and finished second in 2011. And now, he has a European Tour title to add to his list of achievements. 

"It's amazing, it's massive," he said. "I've won four times on the Challenge Tour but it was a long time ago. I'll enjoy this one because it's really hard to get and I'll just keep working on the stuff that seems to be working and enjoy the success.

"I'm going back home tomorrow and we're having a second baby, a little girl is coming on Wednesday. We're really excited about that and I can't wait to celebrate with my family."

Elsewhere, Ryder Cup hopefuls Eddie Pepperell and Thomas Pieters both finished with 71s to end in a nine-way share of ninth.