Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano collected the sixth European Tour victory of his career after he resisted the challenge of Garth Mulroy to win the BMW Italian Open by two strokes.
The player known as ‘Gonzo’ did not drop a shot in the final round, but his South African rival will rue holes six and 17 at which he carded bogeys.
Fernandez-Castano completed the final round in eight under par to finish 24 under for the tournament.
“It felt like match play out there and I'm delighted to have come out on top,” he said. “It feels very special to win this tournament.
“I knew it would have to be a low round to win and so it proved. The putts were going in.”
Ryder Cup wild-card Nicolas Colsaerts, who briefly held the lead after he holed a four-foot eagle putt on the fifth, could only par the back nine as his challenge faded, leaving the top two to battle it out.
Colsaerts is a 6/1 chance with Sky Bet
to score more Ryder Cup points than all of the four American debutants at Medinah and 20/1 to be the leading European in the event.
Fernandez-Castano was quick out of the blocks and birdied the first hole to draw level with overnight leader Mulroy, but birdies at the fourth and fifth put the South African back in the driving seat.
However, the 31-year-old Spaniard turned the screw and birdied four holes in a row around the turn and although Mulroy replied with three of his own on 13, 14 and 15, a dropped shot on the penultimate hole put paid to his challenge.
Gregory Bourdy did not drop a shot for a 65 to finish third alongside Matteo Manassero, who hit nine birdies in the final round with a double bogey at the fourth his only blemish.