British Masters: Alex Levy wins inaugural Hero Challenge at The Grove
By Keith Jackson at The Grove
Last Updated: 12/10/16 9:48am
Alex Levy was crowned the inaugural Hero Challenge champion as British Masters week kicked off with a British television first under floodlights at The Grove.
With 2,000 fans crammed around the specially constructed par three on the 18th, Levy emerged as the winner from an elite field of eight professionals after beating Andy Sullivan and Luke Donald before edging out Alex Noren in the final.
British Masters ambassador and tournament host Luke Donald struck the opening blow of the entertaining knockout event, the former world No 1 safely finding the green at the 156-yard hole and two-putting to beat Jeev Milkha Singh.
Levy then hit the best shot of the night, knocking his nine-iron to seven feet which Andy Sullivan could not match, while Noren beat Bernd Wiesberger and Shane Lowry saw off fan-favourite Andrew "Beef" Johnston in the "battle of the beards".
Levy's rock-solid par was then enough to knock out Donald in the first semi-final, and Noren and Lowry both made threes in the next, with the Swede advancing the final by virtue of being just two inches closer to the pin with his tee shot.
The flamboyant Frenchman came close to landing a £50,000 bonus for a hole-in-one in the final, his arrow-straight strike almost hitting the pin before settling 15 feet beyond the target, while Noren pulled his long and left and found the fringe.
Noren could not find the long birdie putt he needed to put pressure on Levy, who was left with the easiest of tasks to two-putt for the winning par and round off a hugely successful evening in front of the live Sky Sports cameras.
Watch the British Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf. Live coverage of the star-studded pro-am begins at 3pm on Wednesday.