Alexander Levy wins shortened Portugal Masters

Tournament reduced to 36 holes as rain battered the Oceanico Victoria Golf Club

 Alexander Levy of France poses with the trophy after winning the Portugal Masters at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Albufeira, Portugal. Photograph:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Alexander Levy of France poses with the trophy after winning the Portugal Masters at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Albufeira, Portugal. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

 

Alexander Levy has won the Portugal Masters after the event was reduced to 36 holes as more rain battered the Oceanico Victoria Golf Club.

The tournament had already been reduced to 54 holes after heavy rain on Thursday evening and Friday meant many players could not start their second rounds until the weekend.

And Levy and playing partner Nicolas Colsaerts had played just a single hole of their third and final round on Sunday when the heavens opened once more, drenching the course, with organisers deciding at approximately 3.15pm that the result would be decided on 36-hole scores.

That meant the Frenchman, who had recorded rounds of 63 and 61 claimed his second European Tour win following his victory at the Volvo China Open in April.

“It feels very special,” he told Sky Sports 4. “If at the start of the year you say to me, ‘You are going to win two tournaments’, I (would) say ‘never’ to you. It’s a very nice feeling to me, I’m very happy. I work hard on this game and I think I played a good game this week and the week in China.”

Levy was one of the lucky ones who managed to get his second round completed on Friday meaning he did not play at all on Saturday and he admitted it was a strange feeling to have won after playing only two rounds.

“It’s special,” he added. “Because you are only on 36 holes but after Friday night I knew I would only play 54. But it’s a special feeling at this time. I don’t realise a lot because I was focused to play this last round and try my best to win this tournament.”

Levy will now head to Kent to play in the World Matchplay next week before he approaches the Final Series as the Race to Dubai reaches its conclusion and he is hopeful of maintaining his good form.

“I’m going to try to play like I played the first two rounds,” he said. “I’ve impressed myself with the way I’ve played golf and I think I need to continue like that.”

Colsaerts parred the first alongside Levy and finished three shots behind him on on 15 under with Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, Dane Morten Orum Madsen and France’s Romain Wattel three further shots back.

Only four players managed to complete their final rounds, including victorious Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, but none of the field were looking like mounting a serious charge on the leaders when play was stopped.

Michael Hoey was best placed of the Irish, on 10 under after rounds of 65 and 67, two ahead of Shane Lowry (71 and 66). Pádraig Harrington was five under after a 72 and 66.

Gareth Maybin was one under, just ahead of Darren Clarke and Kevin Phelan on level par. Peter Lawrie (one over), Damien McGrane (three over) and Simon Thornton (four over) were also well adrift.

Tournament Director Jose Maria Zamora explained that an errant weather forecast had not helped organisers in their contingency plans but stressed that he felt the right decision had been made.

“It’s very tough, we were confident that we would be able to play this third round today,” he said. “The forecast today wasn’t that bad so we thought it would be really nice to give a clean third round to the sponsors here in Portugal and have a nice end of the tournament.

“Unfortunately we’ve been hit by a very heavy downpour, followed by another heavy downpour an hour later which made the golf course go completely underwater.”

He added: “There are important facts here which is mainly the sponsors and obviously we have to take into consideration that we have got tournaments far away in Hong Kong - if we delay the guys will not be able to play practice rounds. We have two tournaments next week.

“But the main thing is the tournament here — to try to deliver a result. With the forecast we had, we were not expecting these heavy downpours and we had to cut it to 36 holes.”

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