Porsche European Open Preview, Picks & Analysis
SO, THAT was The Open. Now it is back to business for the European Tour as Alexander Levy defends the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, and the organisers will be praying for better luck with the weather than they had in 2016.
It was reduced to 54 holes due to fog delays over the first three days at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, and the Frenchman entered the third and final round with a four-shot lead at 17 under after 36 bogey-free holes. He made three bogeys in his first five holes, though, and with playing partner Ross Fisher closing the gap to one as the pair stood on the final tee, there was a tense and dramatic finish to the event.
Levy dropped another shot at the 18th, and he and Fisher had to go back up the last and after two pars at the first attempt, the 26 year old holed a birdie putt to win his third European Tour title.The tournament was not played between 2010 and 2014. It was held at the K Club near Dublin for many years, with winners including Bernhard Langer, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell (remember him?), and Colin Montgomerie. In 2008 it moved to the London Club, where it was won by Fisher and the following year by Christian Cevaer. It was revived in Germany in 2015, when it was won by Thongchai Jaidee, the veteran Thai golfer who seems to improve with age.
His breakthrough victory came at the 2016 Bridgestone Challenge where he set a Challenge Tour record for the largest winning margin after he triumphed by 12 shots. That was good enough to secure his membership of the European Tour and he duly finished third at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on his first appearance as a full member of the tour. He was also second at the recent BMW International in Germany.To Win: Thomas Detry. Ready to take the next step
Charl Schwartzel. Needs to step up to the plate
Alex Levy. Always plays with a smile on his face
Joost Luiton. One of the best putters in the game
Paul Peterson. Superb American left-hander
Matthew Southgate. Walking on air right now **
Paul Dunne. Improving all the time
** not in the field, tipster getting ahead of himself.
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