(European Tour/Media) /
Alexander Levy became the first man to win the Volvo China Open twice as he defeated Sud-African Dylan Frittelli in a play-off at Topwin Golf and Country Club. The 2014 champion began the final round seven shots behind the overnight leader but birdied the last in a 67 to get to 17 under and force a play-off.
In search of a maiden European Tour victory, Frittelli sent his second shot into the last over the hospitality tent and had to settle for a par, a closing 74 and a trip back up the 18th. Levy found the fairway off the tee while Frittelli sent his drive right into a bunker but after the Frenchman found sand with his second, both men were left with birdie putts. Frittelli missed his attempt and Levy rolled home from 15 feet to claim victory and a perfect birthday present for caddie Tom Ayling.
The triumph offers Levy some redemption after he lost a play-off in China at the 2014 BMW Masters and hands him his second consecutive victory via a play-off after his win at the Porsche European Open in September.
Pablo Larrazábal began the day as Frittelli’s closest challenger and the Spaniard signed for a closing 72 to finish at 16 under, a shot clear of England’s Chris Wood and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger – last week’s winner after a play-off in Shenzhen – who carded a closing 67 with Wood signing for a 68. Meanwhile, YE Yang – the 2010 champion – recorded the round of the day in a 66 to join Ross Fisher at 14 under, a shot clear of George Coetzee and two ahead of Jorge Campillo and Soomin Lee.
“That’s an amazing feeling to be back in the winner’s circle”, said Alexander Levy.” On the 12th I saw the leaderboard and I was four shots behind. At the 15th I was just one shot away to my surprise. At that moment I started thinking that I could win. It means a lot because it was the first tournament I won on the European Tour. I won last year after a bad injury and to come back with the win was very tough for me. I’m really happy with what I did today”.
“Obviously it’s a goal and a dream for me to play the Ryder Cup in France and I’ll do my best to qualify for the team. But there’s still a long way to go. So Rěnnài, like they say around here…” ETC