Alex Noren overcame Scott Hend on the first play-off hole to win the Omega European Masters for the second time at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.

The Swede won his maiden title in the Alps in 2009 and his victory on Sunday was his sixth overall and second of the season after his triumph at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July.

Noren also finished in the top ten at the 100th Open de France and reached the final of the Aberdeen Asset Management Paul Lawrie Match Play as he enjoys a brilliant summer.

A run of four birdies from the sixth handed him a two-shot lead at the turn but Hend fought back on the back nine and the duo had to go back up the last to decide a winner after finishing at 17 under.

Noren hit a wonderful tee-shot and an approach to 30 feet as Hend saw his first bounce out of the trees on the left and then only just cleared the water with his second.

The Australian chipped to eight feet but Noren holed his putt for the birdie and the win.

“It feels amazing to be among Seve Ballesteros and Thomas Bjørn to win two Omega European Masters titles,” said Noren. “I’ve seen the boards showing who won multiple Omega European Masters titles walking to the course so it is great.

“I’ve worked hard this season. I tried to play more golf and I feel steadier with my driver. My driver hasn’t been my good side but now it is steadier. It is great to have my family here, my baby and my parents here for the first time.

“I’ve never won coming from behind or won in a play-off on the European Tour so that makes it more amazing.”

England’s Andrew Johnston was third at 14 under, two shots clear of Lee Westwood and three ahead of a third Englishman in Richard Bland and Frenchman Julien Quesne.

Noren joined Hend at the summit as he birdied the tough first and the two could not be separated after six holes, with Bland still in the mix as he followed a chip-in eagle on the fifth with a birdie on the sixth.

Noren then put his foot down, getting up and down to birdie the seventh and putting his approach to three feet on the eighth to open up a two-shot lead. The 34 year old made it four birdies in a row on the ninth but Hend made a gain of his own to keep the gap at two at the turn.

They traded bogeys on the tenth and 11th before both birdieing the 12th and 14th, but a Hend birdie on the 15th cut the gap and a three-putt bogey from Noren on the penultimate hole had them level on the 18th tee.

Drama was to follow as Hend hit a wayard drive into the trees but was fortunate with his second shot as it bounced over the water and through the back of the green, while Noren put his second from the fairway to 30 feet.

After taking a drop from the base of the spectator stands, Hend got up and down and Noren got down in two to take it to extra holes.

“I think Alex played the 18th hole way better than I did and made an awesome birdie for a deserving win,” said Hend. “It wasn’t a daunting tee-shot on the last. It is just like any other tee-shot. You just need to stand there and hit it. I was unable to hit the shot I wanted yesterday and today, twice.

“He played fantastic golf today but I didn’t play quite well enough. That’s golf. You can’t complain when you get into position to win but somebody makes a great birdie on the play-off hole to win.”

Johnston picked up three shots in his last five holes in a 65, while countryman Westwood had seven birdies as he matched the low round of the week with a 63.

Bland turned in 31 but fell away as he came home in 38 with a dropped shot on the 16th and a double-bogey on the last.

Quesne enjoyed a rollercoaster of a 65, with eight birdies and three bogeys leaving him a shot clear of England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, Italian Renato Paratore, Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares, Frenchman Romain Langasque and Germany’s Florian Fritsch.

Source: www.europeantour.com