Categorized | News, 2014, May 2014, On Tour

Levy Holds Fast to Claim Volvo China Open Title

By: One Asia

Champions Alexander Levy celebrates his triumph with the locals

Champions Alexander Levy celebrates his triumph with the locals (photo courtesy of OneAsia)

SHENZHEN, China, April 27 – France’s Alexander Levy fired a final-round three-under-par 69 on Sunday to win the Volvo China Open by four strokes, claiming his first professional title with a dominant performance that earned him $530,000.

The 23-year-old never relinquished the lead after shooting a course-record 62 in Friday’s second round, finishing 19 under par around the beautiful 6,534-metre (7,145-yard) Genzon Golf Club course in Shenzhen, southern China.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood (68) was alone in second in the 20 million yuan (U.S. $3.2 million) event — co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the European Tour — with Alvaro Quiros two shots further behind.

Keeping up what has become a tour tradition, Levy was mobbed by his countrymen in the tournament after draining the winning putt, and sprayed with champagne.

“I woke up very early this morning thinking about too much, but this is my life,” a delighted Levy said afterwards. “On the golf course I was only thinking about my job, and that’s why I’ve got the trophy in my hands.”

Levy went into the final round with a three-stroke lead that immediately stretched to four after Spaniard Alvaro Quiros bogeyed the first.

One group ahead, Fleetwood birdied the first three holes to give Levy something to think about, but he responded by picking up shots on six, 11 and 13 to lead by five at one point.

His only wobble came on the 15th when his drive found a divot hole, his second came-up well short, and he made double-bogey.

But a stunning second on the par-five 17th to ten feet for birdie, and an even better approach on the last for what was virtually a tap-in, saw him safely home.

“I closed my eyes and hit one of the best shots of the week. It was an amazing shot,” he said of the 17th.

Fleetwood was also happy with his effort.

“ I’ve been on a little bit of a dodgy stretch, so it’s nice to get myself up there again and get in the mix,” he said.

“I got off to the perfect start but just couldn’t drive it on the back nine. My strength all week has been my driving, and I didn’t hit it in play enough. But its been a fantastic week — its come off for me.”

Without a win since 2011, Quiros feels his game is on the way back.

“The positive things for me are that I have been back in contention which I have only really been once in the past two years. I am happy to be where I am and I am now going to be going to the Spanish Open expecting big things.”

Thousands of fans turned up for the final round — many to watch Li Haotong, who started the day in joint eighth place, albeit nine shots off the lead.

But the 18-year-old wilted under the pressure and dropped six shots to finish joint 50th. Ouyang Zheng (67) was the best local player, with a share of 36th.

World number three Henrick Stenson (65) and Team Europe Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter (67) shot their best rounds of the week to move up the leaderboard and share fifth place with Anders Hansen (63), while Italian Francesco Molinari was alone in fourth.

Suffering the effects of a stomach bug for much of the week, Stenson could have overtaken both Adam Scott and Tiger Woods in the world rankings if he had won here.

“It is very tight at the top at the moment but I am going to have to play a lot better than I have done on the early part of this year if I want to get to World Number One,” he said.

“It is a work in progress. It really feels like I have been starting to play a lot better over the past month and if I can keep working away then hopefully more good things will come.”

Poulter’s tournament was derailed by a two-shot penalty for taking an incorrect drop in the second round.

“I came here to win this golf tournament … I felt it was a great opportunity,” he said.

“Dropping five shots on Friday in two holes … it’s more than disappointing, it’s inexcusable. It put me too far behind and as much as I wanted to chase today, it was always going to be a tall order.”

OneAsia’s next tournament is the GS Caltex Maekyung Open at Namseoul Country Club on the outskirts of the Korean capital from May 8 – 11.

Leading Scores

After the final round of the Volvo China Open being played at the par 72, 6,534 -metre (7,145-yards) Shenzhen Genzon Golf Club (am – denotes amateur):

269 – Alexander Levy (France) 68-62-70-69.
273 – Tommy Fleetwood (England) 70-68-67-68.
275 – Alvaro Quiros (Spain) 67-68-68-72.
276 – Francesco Molinari (Italy) 70-70-69-67.
277 – Anders Hansen (Denmark) 73-68-73-63, Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 71-70-71-65, Ian Poulter (England) 69-74-67-67.
278 – Rafa Cabrera-Bello (Spain) 70-70-71-67, Michael Hoey (N. Ireland) 69-72-69-68, Andy Sullivan (England) 71-68-69-70, Simon Dyson (England) 67-71-69-71, Mikko Ilonen (Finland) 69-68-67-74.

Henrik Stenson shot a final round 65 for a tie for 5th place

World No. 3 Henrik Stenson shot a final round 65 for a tie for 5th place (photo courtesy of OneAsia)

Aces Wild At Volvo China Open

SHENZHEN, China, April 27 – Danny Willet and Marcel Siem both scored holes-in-on at the Volvo China Open on Sunday as the third round produced the best golf of the week at Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen, southern China.

Siem aced the 200-metre (220-yard) eighth with a sweetly struck three-iron, while Willet struck a perfect five iron on the 187-metre (204-yard) 12th.

There was no prize up for grabs on the eighth, but Willett won a Volvo V40 for his effort.

“I have been hitting the ball, but you never really think you are going to get one — especially when there is a shiny new car on the tee next you for the first guy to make it,” he said.

“I hit five iron from 209 yards and it landed just short and rolled in. We couldn’t actually see it, but I knew it was in from the reaction of the people behind the green.

“It’s pretty cool to win such a great car – I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin. Volvo are one of the biggest and best sponsors in golf so I am delighted to have won that prize.

Volvo also put up a massive L105 wheel loader as a prize for the perfect shot at the 187-metre (204-yard) 16th, but it is yet to be claimed.

About One Asia

OneAsia is a non-profit organisation developed to maximize tournament opportunities for the best players in the Asia-Pacific region. The founding members of OneAsia are the China Golf Association, the Korea Golf Tour, the Korea Golf Association and the PGA of Australia. Our elite suite of tournaments includes the national Opens of Australia, China, Korea and Thailand, as well as numerous other prestigious events.

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