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Golf-Aberg claims maiden title as Fitzpatrick, MacIntyre take Ryder Cup slots


(Reuters) – Swede Ludvig Aberg struck a six-under-par 64 to earn a two-shot victory at the European Masters on Sunday, while Matt Fitzpatrick and Robert MacIntyre claimed the final two automatic qualification spots on Team Europe for this month’s Ryder Cup.

Aberg, 23, had a stretch of four straight birdies from the 14th as he claimed his maiden title on the circuit in only his second DP World Tour event as a professional.

“I don’t even know where to start, it’s a pretty surreal feeling to be honest,” Aberg said. “Obviously super, super happy. I’ve always had that belief that I’ve been able to do it, but to do it is pretty cool.

“I made a nice six, seven footer on 14 and that was a big moment for me. I needed to take care of the par fives and I did today.”

The win also significantly boosts Aberg’s chances of being named as one of Europe captain Luke Donald’s picks for the Ryder Cup.

“I figured a win would put me in a good position (for the Ryder Cup) but honestly I’ve been doing a pretty good job of not thinking about it too much,” Aberg said.

Aberg’s compatriot Alexander Bjork carded an error-free 66 to take second, while overnight leader Fitzpatrick tied for third with Connor Syme (67).

Fitzpatrick, who led for much of the tournament, had bogeys on the 15th, 16th and 18th holes to finish on one under par, denying him a third European Masters triumph – which would have seen him draw level with Seve Ballesteros.

The former U.S. Open champion earned his Ryder cup spot via the world points list, while Scotland’s MacIntyre will make his first appearance for Team Europe via the European points list, despite finishing tied for 55th at Crans-sur-Sierre.

Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm had already secured their spots on Team Europe via the European points list with Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton assured places via the world points list.

Captain Donald has six picks to make up his dozen for the match against the United States in Rome this month. Donald will announce his picks on Monday.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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