/ Golf

Alexander Levy collects Volvo China Open title

Updated: Sunday, 27 Apr 2014 12:10 | Comments

Alexander Levy's previous best performance on the European Tour came when he finished third at last season's BMW International Open
Alexander Levy's previous best performance on the European Tour came when he finished third at last season's BMW International Open

Frenchman Alexander Levy claimed his first European Tour title on Sunday despite seeing his five-shot cushion cut to just one on the back nine of his final round at the Volvo China Open in Shenzhen.

The 23-year-old was three strokes clear heading into Sunday and looked to be on course for a comfortable victory as he calmly progressed through a flawless first 14 holes with 11 pars and three birdies.

A double-bogey six at the 15th gave the chasing pack a glimmer of hope, but he swiftly recovered with birdies on 17 and 18 for a final-round 69 which saw him finish on 19 under par.

England's Tommy Fleetwood finished four shots in arrears after concluding his tournament with a round of 68. 

Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey carded a final-round 68 to finish on 10 under in a share of eighth place. The Ballymoney native racked up seven birdies in his first 14 holes, but his effort ebbed away as he registered a bogey and a double bogey in two of his last three holes.

Fleetwood made a flying start to his final round at Genzon Golf Club with three straight birdies - sinking 25-foot putts at the second and third - to get himself firmly in the hunt.

His cause was not helped by a bogey on 13, having hit a wayward drive into the hazard and been forced to take a penalty drop, but another superb long putt ensured a birdie at the 14th - shortly before Levy's nightmare on 15. The Frenchman putted through the green into thick rough and required three shots from there.

That saw Levy's lead reduced to just one shot, but he denied that his blip on 15 had been down to nerves - insisting he relished the pressure of being out in front.

He told www.europeantour.com: "I didn't feel pressure - it was a difficult putt, difficult pin position, my ball was in the divot. It was a difficult shot, I made double bogey but I knew I was playing well and I was only thinking about my game.

"I hit one of my best shots on 17. I didn't feel pressure on the golf course because I'm confident.

"I just played my golf and focused on the target. I saw Tommy made a birdie on the 17th, but I like the pressure."

Levy's triumph - for which he set the tone with a course-record 62 on Friday - meant he became the 20th different winner of the event, in its 20th staging.

Spain's Alvaro Quiros (72) finished third, six strokes behind Levy, with Italy's Francesco Molinari (67) a further shot back and Denmark's Anders Hansen (63), Swede Henrik Stenson (65) and England's Ian Poulter (67) joint fifth on 11 under.

England’s Danny Willett and Germany's Marcel Siem recorded hole-in-one each in their final rounds.             

Willet’s ace came at the 187-metre 12th hole with a five iron, a shot which netted him a Volvo V40.             

Earlier, Siem did it on the 200-metre par-three eighth with a three iron but there were no prizes on that hole.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use