Alex Levy boosts Ryder Cup hopes with Morocco win

Alexander Levy of France and Jenny Haglund of Sweden with their winners' prize. Picture: Getty.
Alexander Levy of France and Jenny Haglund of Sweden with their winners' prize. Picture: Getty.
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France’s Alexander Levy boosted his chances of qualifying for a Ryder Cup debut on home soil by claiming his 
fifth European Tour title at the Hassan Trophy in Morocco.

Levy carded a final round of 70 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam to finish eight under par, a shot ahead of overnight leader
Alvaro Quiros.

Quiros, right, birdied the 18th to claim outright second, with Italy’s Andrea Pavan, Finland’s Mikko Ilonen and the Swedish pair of Joakim Lagergren and Alexander Bjork a stroke behind on six under.

Levy began the final round a shot off the pace, but moved into the lead with three birdies and a bogey in the first eight holes and recovered from a bogey on the 16th with a vital birdie on the next.

“It feels so good,” said Levy, who defends his Volvo China
Open title in a few days’ time. “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.

“I kept my mind in a good way, I played shot by shot, hit a lot of good shots in the right place and got momentum on 11 when I made a good putt for par. It helped me build some confidence for the end of the day.

“[On 16] I said to myself ‘Make five and we’ll see’ and holed a nice putt for bogey and then hit a really good shot on 17 to have a two-shot lead on 18.”

Asked about his prospects of making the European team which will attempt to regain the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris in September, Levy added on Sky Sports: “I said from the start of the season I need to improve my game and work a lot.

“I worked a lot the last two weeks and win this trophy so that’s helped me. 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.”

Levy’s win takes him to ninth in the European Ryder Cup points standings and also inside the world’s top 50, which could also secure him a place in the lucrative Players Championship and US Open.

Also in Morocco, Sweden’s Jenny Haglund made a birdie on the second extra hole of a sudden-death play-off to claim her first Ladies European Tour title at the Lalla Meryem Cup.

Haglund fired rounds of 75, 72, 68 and 70 to share a three-way tie for the 72-hole lead with overnight co-leader Sarah Kemp and the 2017 event champion Klara Spilkova on three-under-par 285.

All three players made pars on the par-4 18th at the first extra hole, but Haglund blasted a 272-yard drive down the 18th fairway on the second play-off hole and converted a four-foot putt for birdie.

“It feels amazing,” said the 24-year-old second-year LET member from Karlstad, who had previously won the 2016 Norrporten Ladies Open on the LET Access Series, a few weeks after turning pro. “It’s been a great tournament and a great week and I’m very happy that it finished this way,”

Haglund, who tied for 11th in the 2017 Lalla Meryem Cup as a rookie, began the final round four strokes behind the leaders and played the front nine in level par, but made three birdies coming home at holes 
12, 14 and 15.