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Golf Australia Express : Launch
IN CASE you didn’t know, there’s more sport happening in France at the moment other than the two- wheeled kind. But Thomas Levet’s thoughts went straight to the blokes suffering through the Tour de France after he secured the Alstom Open to become just the second French winner of the event in 39 years. “I felt like the Tour de France has started, I felt like one of the riders climbing some of the mountains in France with the public all around me shouting my name,” Levet said after posting a final-round 70 to finish at seven under and win by a single stroke. His first victory in the event in 25 years of trying, Levet appeared more buoyed by the thought of a decade of automatic entry than with the win itself. “I’ve played this tournament, I don’t know how many times, but now I can play for another 10 years or something like that. So it’s just absolutely crazy.” While US star and tournament drawcard Bubba Watson had the weekend off after shooting a pair of three over 74s and bleating about the crowd’s behaviour, Levet had no such issues. It was a case of simply surviving the testing Le Golf National layout over the final 18 holes, with all of Levet’s rivals falling away, including Mark Foster, who parred the first 11 holes but made three bogeys on the way home to finish in equal second at six under. Five out of the top 10 finishers couldn’t get around under par, most notably England’s James Morrison, who’ll never forget the time he blew a one-stroke lead after 54 holes with a seven over 78. Martin Kaymer loomed as the danger man, sitting equal fourth and tied with Levet heading into Sunday, but the German had no answers and couldn’t improve on his overnight position, shooting a two over 73. Still, he’ll take some consolation from the news his result will lift him above US Open winner Rory McIlroy and up to No.3 in the world. Twenty-two-year-old Dane Thorbjorn Olesen came within a whisker of forcing a playoff with Levet, playing to within three feet at the 18th but inexplicably missing the putt. It won’t be the last time the world’s top golfers are taught a lesson by Le Golf National. The Ryder Cup will be there in 2018. OTG “I FELT LIKE ONE OF THE RIDERS CLIMBING SOME OF THE MOUNTAINS IN FRANCE WITH THE PUBLIC ALL AROUND ME SHOUTING MY NAME.” —Thomas Levet, after le swim at Le National A WEEKLY REVIEW OF THE EUROPEAN TOUR WRAP THE LEVET-ATING FINAL STANDINGS 1 THOMAS LEVET FRA -7 € 500,000 2 MARK FOSTER ENG -6 € 260,565 2 THORBJØRN OLESEN DEN -6 € 260,565 4 MARTIN KAYMER GER -4 € 150,000 5 SIMON KHAN ENG -3 € 116,100 5 RICHIE RAMSAY SCO -3 € 116,100 7 JAMES MORRISON ENG -2 € 77,400 7 HENNIE OTTO RSA -2 € 77,400 7 BRENDAN STEELE USA -2 € 77,400 10 ANTHONY WALL ENG -1 € 60,000