Alexander Levy boosts claim for Ryder Cup debut with victory in Morocco
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 22/04/18 7:06pm
Alexander Levy enhanced his bid for a Ryder Cup debut on home soil as he clinched a one-shot victory at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco.
Levy's fourth birdie of a solid final round at the penultimate hole proved crucial as he held off overnight leader Alvaro Quiros to lift his fifth European Tour title.
Quiros kept the pressure on with birdies at each of the final two holes, but the Spaniard had left himself too much to do after four earlier bogeys and Levy held his composure to par the last to win on eight under.
With Quiros struggling to avoid mistakes over the outward nine, Levy converted from five feet for birdie at the third and two-putted for another at the long fifth to claim the outright lead.
The Frenchman soon had Erik van Rooyen for company at the top when failed to get up and down from the back of the green at the seventh, but he got back on track with a good birdie at the next and maintained his strong position with a run of seven straight pars - including a superb save from 10 feet at the 11th.
Levy then did well to drop only one shot at the 16th when his wayward approach plugged in a greenside bunker, but he responded with a sublime tee shot to four feet at 17 which he backed up with a perfect putt to give himself breathing space heading down the last.
The 27-year-old calmly holed out for a five at the 18th to post a 70 which left the final pairing of Quiros and Mikko Ilonen requiring a closing eagle to force a play-off.
But Ilonen managed only a par while the birdie from Quiros at least earned him outright second place after a round of 72, a score matched by the Finn as he settled for a four-way share of third place.
"This feels so good," said Levy. "I'm a little bit tired now because it was really tough today, but I did a really good job. For me, I played an amazing game and I'm so happy to win this trophy."
Levy's performance would certainly have attracted the attention of the watching European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, but he admitted he still needs to up his game to qualify for the team on merit.
"I said at the start of the season, I need to improve my game," he added. "I need to work a lot, but 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."