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Morocco triumph enhances Levy’s Ryder Cup chances

Alexander Levy of France celebrates with the winners trophy after the final round of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco
Alexander Levy of France celebrates with the winners trophy after the final round of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco
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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 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 behind Quiros, but moved into the lead with three birdies and a bogey in the first eight holes and recovered from a bogey on the 16th – where his approach plugged in a greenside bunker –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: “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.

Woodsome Hall’s Chris Hanson shot 72 74 74 72 to finish in a tie for 41st place, earning €14,750 to remain inside the top 100 on the Race to Dubai.

He went to the turn on two under yesterday, but gave back the ground made with bogeys at holes 13 and 16.

Rotherham’s Jonathan Thomson showed commendable spirit to put Saturday’s 81 behind him with a one-under-par final-day score of 71 after making the cut with 71 76.