12  February 2017
Fabulous Fabrizio claims dramatic victory in Malaysia

Fabrizio Zanotti eagled the final hole to card a nine under par final round 63 and claim his first victory in three years in stunning fashion at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.

The Paraguayan had not featured at the top of the leaderboard at any point during the week and entered the final round six shots off the lead held by Englishman Danny Willett.

But the 33 year old built up a huge head of steam as four birdies helped him reach the turn in four under.

The lead had exchanged hands numerous times throughout the day and at one point three players – Bernd Wiesberger, Alexander Levy and David Lipsky – were tied at the top heading down the stretch, but Zanotti emerged from the pack at the final furlong.

With three birdies in five holes from the 13th, Zanotti forced his way into contention for the first time, before a remarkable approach to the 18th from 249 yards brought the crowd to their feet.

He could only watch on TV as Lipsky had a chance to force a play-off, but his birdie putt at the last slipped by and Zanotti celebrated a one-stroke victory over the American courtesy of a 19 under total, and a second European Tour title.

Fabrizio Zanotti

“I think it was probably the best round of my career. It was a really good day, a really good week and I’m really happy.

“I think it was at the 15th where I thought I might be able to win, when I made birdie there. I thought, maybe I’ll have a chance if I make two more birdies, but I made a birdie and an eagle so it was great.

“To shoot nine under on the last day to win a golf tournament is incredible. I have been working a lot with my coach and with my team and I’ve been making some changes.

“I think this is because of all that hard work. I missed the last three cuts but I was hitting the ball well and was not unhappy with the way I was hitting it. This week I just came here and tried to take it easy.

“This is a huge one for me because of the work I have been doing, because of shooting nine under and because of the putt at the last, knowing that if I holed that one I would have a pretty good chance of winning. It feels like all the work I’ve been doing at home and all the time I am away from my family pays off.

“I was prepared to go a play-off, sincerely I was. You always have to be prepared for that and thank god I didn’t need it. It feels really good being there with all my friends and right now it feels absolutely incredible.”

David Lipsky

“I’m really happy with this week all in all. My goal was to finish top three or so to try and lock myself up for the WGC in Mexico and I did that so I’m pretty proud of the way I handled myself this week.

“There is a lot of slope and grain on these greens and late in the day they get a little bit bumpy so it was hard for me to hold the line on that last putt and all you can do is put a good stroke on it.

“I did the best I could do. Hats off to Fabrizio because he played great – 63 in the final round, most of the time that’s going to get the job done, so I can’t think too much about it.”

Bernd Wiesberger

“I was two behind and Fabrizio finished like that, so it was just a bit shy. I played alright today, I didn’t play great but I had a couple of hiccups again after a good start, birdieing three out of the first four.

“There were a few stupid bogeys which is unfortunate and then I battled away, but I didn’t play great all week except for that stretch on Friday.

“It’s good to see a couple of putts dropping and see myself getting up on top of the leaderboard. Obviously all credit to Fabrizio, he hit two great shots at the right time.

“It felt like looking back at the week, of course you’re going to drop a few shots, but I definitely left a few on the green which is disappointing. But at the end of the week it’s another good week for me and I definitely enjoy myself here in Malaysia, that’s a couple of good finishes for me here. I’ll get back to work again and try get over the line the next time.”

Alexander Levy

“I played very good golf today but that’s life. I didn’t drop any tough putts today like I have done during the week but I’m really happy with how I played my game today, just a few bits of bad luck but that’s part of the game.

“Now I have eight weeks off but it was really good to play this well this week. If I follow this week it will be a good year for me.”