Matthew Fitzpatrick with his caddy Billy Foster during the DS Automobiles Italian Open final at Marco Simone Golf Club. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

The 26-year-old from Oban signed with a sensational seven under par 64 at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome – venue for next year’s Ryder Cup – to finish level with Fitzpatrick at 14 under after returning from the English. in 32 for a fence in 67.

Both players birdied the par-5 18th to finish with a shot past Dundee-based Frenchman Victor Perez (66) with McIlroy one further after a 68 that included four birdies in the final six holes but also a costly bogey after finding water. with his tee shot in the 16th.

After being put off by a noise near the 18th tee, Fitzpatrick fired his drive on the first play-off into the rough, then pushed a 5-wood to the right of the green which meant it was MacIntyre’s advantage as he was in good training by then. finding the apron with another confident shot in a pressure situation.

Bob MacIntyre celebrates a birdie putt on the 13th hole of the final round of the DS Automobiles Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

Fitzpatrick’s throw left him a 12-footer, but he couldn’t convert it into a birdie, leaving MacIntyre holed about a foot to clinch his title triumph after a fine chip.

“That means everything,” said a smiling MacIntyre as he added to his decisive victory in the Cyprus Showdown in 2020. “I was broken down about two or three months ago – I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know where to go.

“But we spoke to the right people and I started working with Simon Shanks. I mean, I hit two perfect golf shots in the last one.

“There is so much hard work for this. Mike [Thomson, his caddie]Stuart [Morgan, his performance coach]my family, my friends – absolutely everyone.

Rory McIlroy greets fans during the final round of the DS Automobiles Italian Open. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

“About three weeks ago we started doing Decade (a course management system) with Scott Fawcett and we’ve stuck to absolute numbers for the past two weeks. My approach game has gone up a notch and it shows today.

MacIntyre, who started the day three shots behind overnight leader Fitzpatrick, broke blocks as he drilled 24 feet for an opening birdie before making a superb sand save at second.

As McIlroy, who was in the final group with Fitzpatrick and former Scottish Open champion Aaron Rai, opened with a double bogey 6 that stemmed from a wayward tee shot, the Scot then produced an iron game masterclass on his outward journey.

His approach to third was sent nine feet for a second birdie of the day before a second shot from 187 yards was cut to three feet to fifth, putting him in a header share with Fitzpatrick and Perez on 10- below.

He was even closer with another approach that spun well back in the sixth and was even closer with his tee shot short seventh after landing on top of a ridge and rolling over a second for a tap-in at do that’s three birdies in a row.

MacIntyre then took advantage of a lucky touch, fearing his second shot in the eighth was too short in the water, but seeing him stick to a bank and get up and down for a big save par.

Luck certainly seemed to shine on him when his tee shot the trees ninth shot to the left but bounced to the side of the fairway instead of watering the other way and, after laying down, another approach laser type set up another kick. -in birdies.

It meant he was out in just 29 – the lowest front nine of the week – after taking just nine putts to build a two-shot lead over Perez and Rai at the turn, with Fitzpatrick another shot back after having unwound nine consecutive pars. and McIlroy one behind him.

Just off the fairway with his drive, then finding a back bunker, MacIntyre dropped his first shot of the day in the tenth and then was unable to convert a good birdie chance from around seven feet at the 11th par-4 passable.

In the group behind, Perez had also started his inside journey with a bogey but, after bouncing back with a 3 on the next, he was in one of the leaders, but not for long.

MacIntyre found sand with his drive at the par-5 12th meaning he had to lie down, but that didn’t stop him birdie as he rolled in ten feet after another beau approach shot, this time from just under 90 yards. .

If that seemed important, his eighth birdie of the day was even more so. Finding the top of a ridge with his par-13 tee shot, his ball rolled 13 feet and a delicate left-to-right grabbed just enough of the hole.

It briefly gave him a three-shot cushion before Rai birdied on the 11th, where Fitzpatrick finally birdied his first of the day, then nearly made an albatross on the next hole, where his second shot from 215 yards out touched the flag when he looked. as if it was going to fall straight into the center of the hole.

The Englishman got it right with his eagle putt of no more than four feet and, with MacIntyre dropping a shot on the 14th after finding some thick stuff off the tee and having to hack, the pair were suddenly tied for the lead at 13-under.

After repairing the damage on the first hole with birdies on the fifth and ninth, McIlroy also got back into the mix with back-to-back wins on the 12th and 13th, putting him just two behind Fitzpatrick after a painful bogey for MacIntyre on the 15th.

He missed his approach but looked ready to save par after a brilliant bunker shot, which he almost broke through, only to see his putt from inside a yard painfully come out of the hole.

The Scot found sand with his tee shot at the par-4 driveable 16th but, after another neat bunker shot, he found the center of the cut on this occasion with a nine-footer for his ninth birdie of the turn and celebrated the move. come back in one part of the head with a small fist pump.

To the delight of the crowds, McIlroy moved within one as he birdied three in four holes by rolling in a 15-footer on the 15th, where Fitzpatrick did well to save the par eight-footer. after catching his second shot thin from a bunker and ending up on a bank across the green.

Just when he appeared to be making an ominous move, McIlroy then carved his 3-wood tee shot into the water to the right of the 16th green, which he lamented, shouting “what are the youngsters doing?”

A bogey there meant his run was over as Fitzpatrick birdied it to edge MacIntyre and Perez after the Frenchman had made a brilliant 2 in the 17th.

After hitting the longest drive of the day last, MacIntyre finished with a birdie to score the clubhouse goal and, at 14 under, he was in the lead again after a bad tee shot from Fitzpatrick left him saw bogey the penultimate hole.

Perez was unable to convert a six footer on the end to match MacIntyre’s tally, but Fitzpatrick threw two shots over 100 feet for his 4 to force the barrage.