Scott Hend leads European Masters after weather-hit day

Swiss roll a delighted Matthew Fitzpatrick with his trophy

Hend acknowledged that "I had the opportunity and I didn't take it. Fitzpatrick played great to win".

That did not last long as an excellent tee-shot by Zanotti at the par three 11th helped cut the gap to one and with Hend missing the green on the same hole, they shared the lead at 11 under.

Cape Town - Scott Hend will return to complete the final five holes of his third round with a two-shot lead after a weather-affected Saturday at the European Masters.

"I'm delighted, as it's one that I've always wanted to win".

Fitzpatrick earned a 450,000-euro ($542,000) prize for his first win since the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai last November.

Hend again pocketed 300,000 euros ($361,000) for losing the title in a playoff for the second straight year.

Both players carded 14-under totals of 266 having had early starts on Sunday to complete their delayed third rounds.

A playoff was needed because Fitzpatrick and third-round leader Hend (68) both missed mid-range birdie chances on the 18th in regulation.

"We kept our nerve and played really smart all week".

Hend, playing in the final group, found a birdie at the par-five 15th though, before Fitzpatrick bogeyed the penultimate hole to leave the pair tied at the top and headed for a play-off on the par-four 18th.

The margin doubled by round's end as Fitzpatrick made a late bogey and Hend produced 1-under golf to finish his round via an eagle-bogey stretch.

The unusual start to the day did not affect Fitzpatrick, who eventually fired a six-under 64 to finish on 14-under at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club in Switzerland.

Defending champion Noren carded a 67 to tie in 32nd position on 137 alongside a host of players, which include former victor and Asian Tour Order of Merit leader David Lipsky, who signed for a 70.

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