Thomas Levet returned victorious from last year’s Open de France after a one shot shot victory. Here, in an excerpt from The European Tour Yearbook 2012, we recap how the Frenchman was cheered to victory on the outskirts of Paris.
The Ryder Cup is a truly special occasion with a unique atmosphere. A mere six weeks after the decision was made to award The 2018 Ryder Cup to France, the crowds at Le Golf National gave some indication of what to expect as they cheered Thomas Levet home in the Alstom Open de France.
The 42 year old finished one shot clear of the impressive Thorbjørn Olesen and joint third round leader Mark Foster after holding his nerve over the notoriously difficult closing stretch to become only the second French champion in the event – since the birth of The European Tour in 1972 – following in the footsteps of 2004 and 2005 winner Jean-François Remesy.
While others faltered throughout an enthralling final day, Levet carded his third round of 70 over the week to claim his sixth victory on The European Tour International Schedule and his first since the 2009 Open de España at PGA Golf Catalunya. It not only helped move the Frenchman some 215 places up the Official World Golf Ranking to 137, it also propelled him into 16th place in The Race to Dubai.
Olesen, whose rookie season on The European Tour has been highly notable, followed up his tie for second in the BMW Italian Open in May with another joint runners-up slot and indeed the 21 year old could have forced a play-off but missed his par effort from three feet at the last, leaving him on 278 alongside Foster, who closed with a 74.
To order your copy of The European Tour Yearbook 2012, a 240-page, full colour hardback Official Publication with iconic pictures by Getty Images and essays from some of the game's top writers that takes you every step of the way through 52 tournaments and 29 destinations on The 2011 Race to Dubai, click here.