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Levy defeats Fisher in playoff at European Open

Alexander Levy (Photo: Getty Images)
Alexander Levy became the youngest Frenchman in history to claim three European Tour titles, after overcoming England’s Ross Fisher on the second hole of a play-off at the Porsche European Open.

After both players had parred the 18th hole first time around, Levy clinched victory with a 30 foot putt at the second time of asking to end a weather-affected week at Golf Resort Bad Griesbach in dramatic fashion. 

It was Levy’s first play-off victory and his first title since the 2014 Portugal Masters, which was reduced to 36 holes due to torrential rain. Thick morning fog on each of the first three days in Bavaria had forced officials to cut the tournament to 54 holes, but there were no such problems on a sunny final day.

Levy had held a four-stroke advantage heading into the third and final round, but Fisher closed the gap after the Frenchman stuttered on the front nine. He appeared to have bounced back in perfect fashion, however, courtesy of four birdies in six holes from the tenth, but two bogeys in his final three holes opened the door to his playing partner.

Fisher had made a superb charge, carding seven birdies in a flawless performance to finish the week with just one bogey and a 19 under total. But the former Ryder Cup player was ultimately unable to add to his haul of five European Tour titles after losing a play-off for the fifth time in his career.

Third place was shared by Michael Jonzon and Robert Karlsson after respective rounds of 68 and 65 moved the Swedish duo to 16 under par. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger finished fifth on 15 under par whilst Martin Kaymer made sure he carried some momentum into next week’s Ryder Cup as he signed for a final round 68 to finish on 14 under, five shots back in outright sixth place.

“It’s unbelievable," said Levy. "I saw the line of the putt and I told my caddie that I thought I was going to make it. It’s difficult to compare this victory with others, but I definitely feel very relieved because it looked like I had lost my chance. It’s so good to have this winning feeling again after two years, it’s very nice.

“I holed a nice putt for bogey to make the play-off. It was a tough moment, I didn’t hit a good second shot but I think it was my only bad shot on the last nine holes, so I just kept my mind focused on making the bogey to get into the play-off. 

“I came close last week in Italy, but didn’t play well on Sunday. So this week, it feels great to have this trophy in my hands. It was tough to try to hold onto a four-shot lead. I didn’t play well on the front nine. I was thinking about the score and not on my own game. But I stayed patient and I started to play really well on the back nine, and in the end it worked out well.”

Richard Green finished as the leading Australian when he tied for 13th, one shot ahead of Jason Scrivener who shared 20th.

The European Tour takes a break this week as its warriors head for Hazeltine and what promises to be an epic battle for the Ryder Cup 

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