Matt Fitzpatrick bounced back from Ryder Cup woe by claiming his seventh European Tour win as the Englishman took full advantage of Sebastian Soderberg's late capitulation to clinch the Andalucia Masters title.

Overnight leader Laurie Canter rarely looked as though he would get the win to secure his first €1million season, his five over par seeing him finish tied for fourth.

Soderberg looked to be the one to capitalise on Canter's fall, with the Swede playing some fine golf at times – his exceptional par save at the ninth, consisting of a wonderful chip to within a few inches of the hole, seeing him reach the turn three under for the round.

Another excellent up-and-down at 11 earned him a birdie and the lead.

Although a bogey on the 13th pegged him back, Soderberg quickly got that shot back with another birdie on 15 as he looked well-placed to go on and take the trophy.

But the timing of his costly double bogey on the 17th could not have been worse as Fitzpatrick – a hole back – simultaneously ended a streak of 15 pars with his first birdie of the day. Over the course of a single hole, Soderberg went from a two-shot lead to trailing by one.

Fitzpatrick – playing in his first tournament since making it two Ryder Cup appearances without a point – quickly turned that into a two-shot lead of his own before closing out with a par that left him at six under for the tournament, three clear of the rest of the pack.

While Fitzpatrick is by no means a stranger to successes on the Tour, victory at Valderrama was particularly special.

Asked how he felt afterwards, Fitzpatrick said: "Amazing, particularly the way I did it, staying patient all day, didn't try to press anything. We stuck to our targets and I managed to hole the putts at the end.

"It's one for the bucket list to win around Valderrama with the history it has, and doing it with a bogey-free Sunday, it's extra special, so I'm delighted.

"You can hit half decent shots and then be behind a tree, you're chipping out or you've got to manoeuvre something. It's a true test to be patient for the whole 72 holes, I'm really pleased with my attitude all week."

Soderberg ultimately finished tied for second with Min Woo Lee, while seven players were an additional shot back.

Laurie Canter powered three shots clear at the Andalucia Masters to put himself within touching distance of completing a €1million season on the European Tour.

The 31-year-old Englishman finished tied for second at the BMW PGA Championship in September, and now a maiden victory on the tour is a realistic target.

A roller coaster four-under-par 67 in the third round allowed Canter to ease clear of the field and reach seven under through 54 holes, with Matt Fitzpatrick in second place after a one-under 70.

Canter had eight birdies and four dropped shots in his round, but the score of the day was achieved by American David Lipsky, who shrugged off a bogey at the first and went on to make eight birdies on the way to a 64, seven under par.

That put Lipsky on three under overall, in third place, with organisers stating his efforts matched the lowest round in the tournament's history, previously achieved in 2017 by Daniel Brooks and in 2018 by Sergio Garcia.

Canter, who hails from Bath, will be wary of players behind him shooting such a low score on Sunday, but he will have few better chances to win a tournament.

In 2019, Canter played just five events on the tour and won a mere €11,059, but two runner-up finishes last year put him in a far healthier position with €498,991 in earnings, and now Canter is close to breaking the seven-figure mark in a season for the first time.

The €485,000 on offer to the winner at Valderrama on Sunday would send Canter soaring through that mark, and he likes the look of his cushion.

"I think what it means is I can go out tomorrow and play how I have these last couple of days," Canter said, quoted on the European Tour website.

"The score I end up on will be competitive, I think. That gives me a lot of confidence going in. The course is asking a lot of different challenges and you can’t dwell when it goes against you. I’m trying to stay as level as I can and I’m doing a good job."

Those in the five-player group on two under will remain hopeful of a Sunday surge, and among them is the halfway leader Romain Langasque. The Frenchman went backwards on Saturday after a disappointing 73, but may not be out of contention.

Alongside Langasque in a share of fourth place is Austrian Ryder Cup player Bernd Wiesberger, plus Min Woo Lee of Australia, Sweden's Sebastian Soderberg and Italy's Renato Paratore.

Romain Langasque sits top of the Andalucia Masters leaderboard heading into the weekend after a solid opening two days, while world number one Jon Rahm missed the cut.

The Real Club Valderrama lived up to its infamous reputation as an often-gruelling course a day earlier, with numerous players highlighting the difficulty posed by the windy conditions.

Few struggled like Rahm on home soil as the Spaniard carded a seven-over 78 on what was the worst European Tour round of his career, leaving him 11 shots adrift of overnight leader Julien Guerrier, who was one clear of recent Open de Espana champion Rafa Cabrera Bello on three under.

It was all change for Guerrier and Cabrera Bello on Friday, though, as they went two and three over par respectively for the round.

Rahm dropped three more shots to leave him 10 over for the tournament and heading home early.

Matt Fitzpatrick looked to have stormed to the front of the pack and held the lead before the 18th, but like Guerrier before him, he closed with a double bogey that left him as one of four on three under for the week alongside Laurie Canter, Ryan Fox and Sebastian Soderberg.

Canter was the star of the show, however, enjoying the round of the tournament so far.

His six-under 65 on Friday, which was two shots better than anyone managed the previous day, might have been even better had he avoided a bogey on the 16th.

"The perfectionist in me would like to have played the final three holes better, it sort of took me out of the flow I was in to be honest," he told the European Tour after.

"But up until then it was probably the best 15 holes of golf I've played on tour. I've had lower scores, but in terms of control of the golf ball on a difficult course and quite challenging conditions, certainly on the front nine, it was really, really good.

"On the front nine, I really didn't miss a shot. A couple of holes we deliberately played away from, trying to hit it to 20-25 feet.

"I think the pins were more generous than yesterday, but even so I was obviously delighted to go out in five under, which is great around here."

But it is Langasque who takes a slender one-shot lead into Saturday, with his four-under score for the tournament coming from two rounds of 69, the latest of which including just one bogey and 15 pars as his consistency on the day paid dividends.

World number one Jon Rahm endured a dreadful opening day at the Andalucia Masters he carded a seven-over-par 78, but Rafa Cabrera Bello looked sharp again after winning the Open de Espana.

Rahm failed to get a single birdie during what was his worst ever round on the European Tour, and his worst in any competition since the 2018 Open Championship.

But the home crowd's mood was at least soothed by the form of Cabrera Bello, who was fresh from success in Madrid last weekend, coming through a play-off with Adri Arnaus to seal a first European Tour title since 2017.

While Arnaus had something of a nightmare on Thursday as he carded a six-over 77, Cabrera Bello more or less picked up where he left off as he went around in 68, leaving him one behind leader Julien Guerrier.

The Frenchman – who started on the 10th – will be frustrated not to have taken a healthier lead into Friday, however, with two bogeys on his front nine meaning he had to work doubly hard for his one-shot advantage.

Guerrier's countryman Romain Langasque was the only other individual to do better than one-under for the round, highlighting the brutality of the Real Club Valderrama when conditions are windy.

The 26-year-old was helped by an eagle on the par-five fourth hole, though he followed that with successive bogeys.

Six others find themselves tied for fourth on one under par, but much of the attention will be on Rahm's response.

After starting on the 10th, he reached the turn at six-over. While he only dropped one more shot on his back nine, the U.S. Open champion will need to produce something special if he is to avoid the cut.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.