Tuesday 18 December 2018

Alexander Levy steps up Ryder bid to close in on Paul Dunne

Paul Dunne. Photo: Getty Images
Paul Dunne. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Alexander Levy closed the gap on Paul Dunne in the ongoing race for Ryder Cup spots following his impressive one-shot win in the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco.

The Frenchman entered the final day one stroke behind Spain's Álvaro Quirós at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat. But he went out in two-under par to move in front and recovered from a bogey at the 16th with a stunning birdie two at the next, carding a two-under 70 to secure his fifth European Tour win on eight-under par.

Quirós finished birdie-birdie for a 72 to leapfrog Swedish pair Alexander Björk and Joakim Lagergren, Finn Mikko Ilonen and Italian Andrea Pavan to claim second place on seven-under, his 15-footer on the 18th worth an extra €127,216. Levy (27) had an even more lucrative day, bagging 487,500 Race to Dubai points. He also moves back into the world's top 50 and up to ninth in the European Points and 15th in the World Points lists behind Dunne as they bid for one of eight automatic places in the European team.

Elsewhere, Graeme McDowell had a disappointing day on the greens to finish back in the pack at the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.

Tied for 39th heading into last night's final round, he had two three-putts in a 32-putt day, closing with a two-over 74 to slip back to level-par overall.

Zach Johnson and Andrew Landry, who played with Shane Lowry in the final group in the 2016 US Open at Oakmont, were tied for the lead on 13-under heading into last night's final round.

In amateur golf, Alex Gleeson tied for second in the 72-hole European Nations Championship in Spain.

The Castle golfer, who was runner-up in the West of Ireland Championship at Easter, closed with consecutive 69s to finish tied second on level-par at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande.

England's Todd Clements shot 70 to win the title on five-under 283 from Gleeson, Denmark's Ramus Nergaard-Petersen and compatriot Gian-Marco Petrozzi as Ireland finished 20 strokes behind England in the team competition.

Lisburn's Paula Grant faces an anxious wait to see if she's named in the Curtis Cup team this week after she closed with an 80 to finish tied for 13th in the Scottish Women's Open at Royal Troon, 15 strokes behind England's Lily May Humphreys (16) who finished on nine-under par.

Irish Independent

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