Zanotti flies to Malaysian win with eagle at the last

Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti taking a selfie with his trophy, after shooting "probably the best round" of his career at Saujana Golf and Country Club to win by one stroke.
Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti taking a selfie with his trophy, after shooting "probably the best round" of his career at Saujana Golf and Country Club to win by one stroke.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

KUALA LUMPUR • Fabrizio Zanotti played an impeccable round yesterday, notching a nine-under 63 to clinch the Maybank Championship Malaysia with a one-shot victory over American David Lipsky in Kuala Lumpur.

The Paraguayan - tied ninth after 54 holes on Saturday - captured his first European Tour golf title since 2014, after firing seven birdies. He topped off his success with an eagle on the par-five 18th hole to finish on 19-under 269.

Lipsky (67) could not get up-and-down from a greenside bunker for a birdie at the last to force a play-off at Saujana Golf and Country Club yesterday.

"I think it was probably the best round of my career, so I'm very happy. It was a really good day, a really good week," said Zanotti. "I think it was at the (par-four) 15th where I thought I might be able to win, when I made a birdie there. I thought, maybe I'll have a chance If I make two more birdies, but I made a birdie and eagle so it was great."

Danny Willett could not hold on to his overnight lead of three shots, failing to claim a first title since his dramatic US Masters win last April.

The Englishman had five bogeys to end the day with a 73. He came in tied for fifth with China's Li Haotong (65).

Zanotti trailed Willett by six shots at the start of the day. But he picked up four shots on the front nine and added three more birdies coming in before he celebrated the eagle with a fist pump and a roar.

The 33-year-old arrived in Malaysia after three missed cuts in as many tournaments this season and few would have tipped him to emerge victorious at an event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour.

"Golf is like that. I have been working a lot in the pre-season with my coach, with my team and making a few changes, seeing my golf swing," said the world No. 187, who last tasted victory at the 2014 BMW International Open. "It feels really good to be a winner again."

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (66), who had gone on an 11-birdie binge on Friday, finished third on 271, followed by France's Alexander Levy (68) a shot back.

Singapore's Koh Deng Shan finished joint-64th after carding a 74 for a 289 total.

Said Lipsky: "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."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Zanotti flies to Malaysian win with eagle at the last'. Print Edition | Subscribe