MANNIVA, Estonia (August 6, 2016) -- In a remarkable seven hole playoff Italy's Luca Cianchetti defeated Norway's Viktor Hovland to win the European Amateur. Cianchetti and Hovland finished regulation 16-under before needing a playoff at Estonian Golf & Country Club.
"Playing in the European Championship is a very great privilege and to win is truly extraordinary," Cianchetti told the European Golf Association.
Cianchetti was lucky to even reach the seventh playoff hole, after his drive on the sixth extra hole went left into the rough and behind a tree. From there Cianchetti had to punch out. In the mean time Hovland hit the fairway and then knocked his approach onto the green.
Needing to hit his third shot close, Cianchetti did just that and after Hovland missed his birdie try, Cianchetti made his par putt to extend the match.
"This was an exceptional experience," Cianchetti said. "The more so because this was my first play-off experience on a grand stage."
Cianchetti, who earned an invitation to next years British Open with the win, began the day two-strokes behind Hovland but moved up the leaderboard thanks to a final round 5-under 67. On the day the Italian birdied seven holes and bogeyed two. Cianchetti had a chance to win the tournament in regulation but bogeyed the final hole.
Hovland followed up his course record 63 on Friday with a final round 3-under 67. During his final round Hovland birdied five and bogeyed two. Hovland had a chance to win in regulation as well but bogeyed the 17th hole.
Simon Zach (Czech) finished third at 14-under, Robert MacIntyre (Scotland) was 13-under in fourth while Connor Syme (Scotland) was fifth at 12-under.
-The European Golf Association contributed to this story