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Alexander Levy in Ryder Cup Mix after Victory at Trophee Hassan II

By: | Mon 23 Apr 2018 | Comments

Alexander Levy served warning that he fully intends to be a part of Europe’s Ryder Cup team in September with a sparkling performance to win the Trophée Hassan II, his fifth European Tour title.

The Frenchman entered the final day at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam one shot off the lead but hit the front on the third and was never caught, signing for a 70 and finishing the week at eight under on a golf course that proved to be a difficult challenge for the European Tour’s leading players. It  gave him a one-shot victory over Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, who had a birdie-birdie finish to overtake Swedish pair Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergren, Finn Mikko Ilonen and Italian Andrea Pavan.

The victory comes in Levy's 138th appearance on Tour and provides the perfect momentum as he goes in search of a successful defence and a third title at the Volvo China Open this week. Levy is a mercurial talent, a player who is capable of producing terrific bursts of low scoring, but this was a day for grinding it out, and that is what he was able to do.

"This feels so good," he said. "I'm a little bit tired now because it was really tough today but I did a really good job today. For me, I played an amazing game. I'm so happy to win this trophy.”

The Ryder Cup is being played Le Golf National on the outskirts of Paris later this year, and it is certain that Thomas Bjorn would ideally want at least one Frenchman in his team to ignite the passion of the local fans. Levy would definitely add something to the team dynamic, and he wants to make the side.

"Like what I said from the start of the season, I need to improve my game," he said of his Ryder Cup chances. "I need to work a lot. I worked a lot the last two days, two weeks, and I won this trophy.

"So that's helped me but step by step, it's a good win but I need to go back to work because we can see we have a lot of good players in Europe. So it will be tough to make it."

Levy made his first birdie of the day on the third from five feet to move into a share of top spot and when he got on the green at the par five fifth in two for another gain he was the solo leader.

Erik van Rooyen, of South Africa, also birdied the eighth after a nice chip and shared the lead when Levy went over the back of the green at the seventh and played a poor flop shot.

The 27 year old edged back ahead after leaving himself a short chip into the par five eighth and getting up and down, and the advantage was two shots thanks to a Van Rooyen bogey on the tenth.

Levy made an excellent par save on the 11th as he got up and down from a bunker with a 15-footer and while the chasing pack kept moving between five and six under, nobody could get any closer to the lead.

Pavan had made a surge through the field with birdies on the third, fifth, ninth, tenth, 12th and 15th and, while a three-putt bogey on the 17th proved costly, he birdied the last to equal the lowest round of the week with a 66 and set the target at six under.

Levy and Van Rooyen both made putts to save par on the 14th but the latter dropped a shot on the next after finding sand off the tee and coming up short of the green.

The leader went right off the 16th tee and when his second shot got a plugged lie in a greenside bunker, he did well to drop a single shot.

Lagergren was the next man to get into the clubhouse at six under after signing for a closing 70. He birdied the first and bogeyed the fourth but an eagle on the fifth allowed him to turn in 34. The 26 year old bogeyed the 12th after finding the water but almost holed his approach to the last and tapped in for birdie. That was soon two back, however, as Levy produced at the perfect time, putting his tee-shot on the 17th to four feet and making the birdie.

A par on the last from Levy left Ilonen and Quiros in the final group needing an eagle up the last for a play-off which neither could produce.

The big-hitting Quiros turned in 37 and was two over for the day after 13 holes before his big finish saw him sign for a 72, while Ilonen was also level for the day with two birdies and two bogeys.

Van Rooyen carded a closing 73 to sit at five under alongside England's Andy Sullivan, a shot clear of American Han Seung-su, Dutchman Joost Luiten and England's Paul Waring.

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