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(File pix) Malaysia’s Gavin Green was third at 17-under for the Czech Masters tournament. Pix by Aizuddin Saad

Italy’s Andrea Pavan won his maiden European Tour title at the Czech Masters on Sunday, closing with a five-under 67 to seal a two-shot win over three-times major champion Padraig Harrington.

Pavan shared the lead with Harrington after the third round at the Albatross Golf Resort near Prague, but fell behind as his Irish rival took a three-stroke lead at the turn to close in on a 16th Tour title.

The 29-year-old Pavan fought back, however, with five birdies on the back nine. He finished on 22-under for the event to eclipse Belgian Thomas Pieters’ effort from 2015 by two strokes.

“It’s amazing, it’s massive,” Pavan said. “I’ve won four times on the Challenge Tour but it was a long time ago. I’ll enjoy this because it’s hard to get and I’ll just keep working on the stuff that seems to be working and enjoy the success.

Pavan said his first European Tour win was extra special.

“I’m going back home tomorrow and we’re having a second baby, a little girl is coming on Wednesday. We’re really excited about that and I can’t wait to celebrate with my family.”

Harrington nearly shot a hole in one on the 13th, but his effort was undone by a bogey on the 15th. He finished the round with a three-under 69.

Malaysia’s Gavin Green was third at 17-under for the tournament while England’s Lee Slattery and Scotland’s Scott Jamieson were tied for fourth.

European Ryder Cup hopefuls Pieters and Eddie Pepperell were tied ninth with seven others. -- Reuters

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