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Lee play-off heartbreak as Bjorn triumphs in Crans

ESPN staff
September 8, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Craig Lee reacts to agonisingly missing a birdie putt on the 18th green that would have won him the European Masters © Getty Images
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Scotland's Craig Lee suffered play-off heartbreak at the European Masters as Thomas Bjorn claimed his first title for two years in Switzerland.

Bjorn was without a win in 47 tournaments, his last coming at the same event, and began the final round two shots back after overnight leader Lee's extraordinary course record 61 on Saturday.

Having got himself two ahead by the turn Bjorn finished with a 20-under 65 which was matched by Lee, though the 36-year-old Scot - who is still searching for his maiden Tour win - missed a putt on the 72nd hole by half an inch that would have handed him victory.

A birdie on the first extra hole then secured Bjorn the 14th title of his career as he moves back into the top 50 in the world rankings.

"It was nice. I needed it really. I had a really good run through the summer and never really got close to winning so I needed to try and get a win again under my belt," Bjorn said.

"I came here not playing the best but I told myself that I was going to keep playing golf the way I know I want to play and it was nice to finally get over the line.

"It was great to win the play-off because I've been having a hard time lately dealing with pressure situations and there's no bigger pressure situation than a play-off."

Thick fog delayed the start of the final round © Getty Images
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The start of the final round had been delayed due to thick fog at the picturesque Crans-sur-Sierre course, with the organisers starting half of the field on the 10th tee.

The fog again disrupted play with Bjorn on the 18th tee while Lee was on the 17th fairway, both men 20 under. When play resumed, Bjorn parred the final hole with Lee requiring a birdie for the win.

Lee's 20-foot putt touched the edge of the cup but failed to drop in, before he found a fairway bunker when they played the 18th hole again as sudden-death rules kicked in.

Having found the green from the sand, Lee drifted his birdie chance past the hole but Bjorn did not miss with his putt from 10 feet.

Victor Dubuisson and Alejandro Canizares finished third and fourth respectively after final rounds of 66 and 67 left them two shots back, as they had started the day.

Ross Fisher's 66 left him 15 under and tied for fifth with Miguel Angel Jimenez who carded 67.

Final European Masters leaderboard:

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