8am Round-Up: Alexander Levy is Hero in new Tour shoot-out

Alexander Levy receives his winner's cheque after coming out on top in the inaugural Hero Challenge at The Grove. Picture: Getty Images
Alexander Levy receives his winner's cheque after coming out on top in the inaugural Hero Challenge at The Grove. Picture: Getty Images
Share this article
0
Have your say

Frenchman Alex Levy was the last man standing in the inaugural Hero Challenge under floodlights as an impressive stadium crowd of 2,200 watched the one-hole knockout contest at The Grove.

Levy defeated Sweden’s Alex Noren, the Scottish Open champion, in the final over the specially constructed 156 yard par three on The Grove’s 18th hole to claim the £10,000 first prize for charity.

The action - which took place two days before the venue hosts the British Masters supported by Sky Sports - was shown live on Sky Sports.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Levy. “I said to Alex Noren, I felt more pressure there than in my play-off in Germany (when winning the recent European Open), which is ridiculous.

“It was amazing to see the crowds and everyone enjoying it. Golf needs something like this and it is a great idea. We did the Fastest Par Five earlier this year which was great fun and this was amazing too. I really enjoyed it, and of course it is always nice to win.”

Levy had progressed from his opening round match play clash by defeating Englishman Andy Sullivan before taking out Luke Donald in the semi-final, after former world No 1 Donald had seen off India’s Jeev Milkha Singh in the first stage.

In the other half of the draw, Noren beat Austrian Bernd Wiesberger before dispatching Ireland’s Shane Lowry in the semi-final after Lowry had emerged from the ‘Battle of the Beards’ with Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston in the previous round.

***

Sandy Lyle, the 2014 winner at the same venue, takes a seven-shot lead into the second round of the World Hickory Open at Panmure.

The two-time major champion opened with a three-under-par 67 at the Angus venue, leaving the club’s PGA pro, Andrew Crerar, to post on Facebook: “You don’t win the Open and The Masters unless you’re very special! Still got it, class.”

Defending champion Andrew Marshall from Dereham in Norfolk and Swede Johan Moberg are Lyle’s cloest challengers, with another Swede, Magnus Sunesson, and Buckinghamshire’s

Rymer Smith both two shots further back.

***

A second-round 68 catapuled Montrose man Graeme Brown into the top 10 at the halfway stage in the UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe in Bulgaria.

Sitting on five-under at Pravets Golf Resort, Brown is just four shots off the lead, held by Dutchman Ralph Miller (68-67).

Craig Ronald is the next best Scot on four-over, one ahead of Scott Henderson. Craig Matheson is seven-over and Norman Huguet 11-over.

***

Calum Hill finished joint-27th in the Alister McKenzie Invitational, a US college event at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, California.

Oregon State player Hill, who had led after an opening 63 before adding a 72, closed with a 75 to finish on three-under, 12 shots behind team-mate Conner Kumpala and Ki Taek Lee from Arizona State.

***

Scottish duo Alex Simpson and Carrine Taylor opened with rounds of 73 and 79 respectively in the The 20th Faldo Series Grand Final.

Simpson’s two-over effort leaves him sitting six off the lead in the boys’ event at Stoke-By-Nayland while Taylor, sitting on eight-over, trails by 10 shots in the girls’ tournament.