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Marcus Armitage with the European Open trophy
Marcus Armitage with the European Open trophy

Marcus Armitage produced a stirring performance in the final round of the European Open to claim his first European Tour title.

The Englishman shot a seven-under-par 65 to finally break his duck at the age of 33, winning by two strokes at Green Eagle Golf Courses in Hamburg.

Going into round three of a tournament reduced to 54 holes because of quarantine restrictions for players, caddies and staff from the United Kingdom, Maverick Antcliff and Matthew Southgate held a share of the lead.

Armitage was four shots behind but surged to the top of the leaderboard in style as Antcliff slumped to a three-over 75 and Southgate had to settle for a closing 71.

He shot a five-under 29 on the front nine, including an eagle at the par-four seventh, and carded three birdies in four holes on the back nine at the 11th, 12th and 14th.

His sole blemish came at the par-five 16th, but he recovered to save par at the 17th as an excellent chip from thick rough left a five-foot putt.

Compatriot Southgate's hopes were ended when he sent his tee shot at the 18th into the water, while Darius van Driel could not produce the eagle he needed at the last to force a playoff.

Southgate and Van Driel each finished two strokes adrift, along with Thomas Detry and Edoardo Molinari, as Armitage fulfilled a lifelong dream and qualified for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines next week, which will mark only his second major appearance, in the process.

"I'm an emotional guy, I'm struggling to keep a lid on it here," said a tearful Armitage. "I was just trying to breathe and be calm, not touch my phone because that will be going berserk.

"But then you start thinking about everybody at home like my fiancee. Twenty years ago I lost my mum and I've dreamt about this since that day, being a winner, and you have days where you think it might not happen but I just stuck at it.

"Today is a great day and I'm sure she would be proud, and everybody in my team that's helped me – this one's for me. All those days on my own dealing with life and I'm sure a lot of people do, all those lonely days on my own working on my dream and I think I've got to take a lot of credit for it myself."

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