France’s Alexander Levy edged England’s Ross Fisher at the second hole of a tense play-off to secure the Porsche European Open title at Bad Griesbach in Germany, becoming the youngest Frenchman in history to claim three European Tour titles.
The win saw him gain 333,330 points to jump from 49th to 29th position in the European Tour Race to Dubai and with a total of 802,407 points for the season, his spot in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, taking place on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 17 - 20 November, is now assured.
The first re-turn trip down the 18th saw both players make par before Levy clinched victory with a 30-foot putt at the second time of asking to end a weather-affected week in dramatic fashion after thick morning fog on each of the first three days in Bavaria had forced officials to cut the tournament to 54 holes.
“Alexander equipped himself extremely well in very testing conditions in Germany and we’re delighted that he’s secured his place in the DP World Tour Championship,” said Nick Tarratt, Director European Tour International, Dubai. “We look forward to welcoming him to Jumeirah Golf Estates for the third consecutive season in November.”
Levy led the field by four strokes heading into the third and final round, but Fisher closed the gap after the Californian-born Frenchman stuttered on the front nine. Four birdies in six holes from the tenth saw Levy back in front but two bogeys in his final three holes opened the door to his playing partner.
Fisher had made an electrifying charge, carding seven birdies in a blemish-free round to finish the week with just one bogey and a 19 under total. But the former Ryder Cup player was ultimately unable to add to his haul of five European Tour titles after losing a play-off for the fifth time in his career.
However, his runner-up finish gained him 222,220 points and boosted his position from 47th to 34th in the Race to Dubai rankings, upping his season-total to 709,266 points and guaranteeing his place in the season-ending event in Dubai, which is open only to the top 60 ranked players.
Third place was shared by Sweden's duo Michael Jonzon and Robert Karlsson – winner of the 2010 DP World Tour Championshi - after respective rounds of 68 and 65 moved the Swedish duo to 16 under par.
Jonzon, who visited the European Tour Performance Institute in September for training under the watchful eye of Director of Instruction Mark Gregson Walters, moved from 203rd to 139th in the Race to Dubai, putting him on the cusp of retaining his playing privileges for 2017, as he edges closer to the top 110.
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger finished fifth on 15 under par whilst Germany’s Martin Kaymer made sure he carried some momentum into this week’s Ryder Cup as he signed for a final round 68 to finish on 14 under, five shots back in outright sixth place.
Wiesberger claimed 84,800 points and moved from 27th to 25th in the Race to Dubai with a season-total of 891,585 points while Kaymer further solidified 12th place in the rankings after increasing his season-total to 1,254,697 points.
Matthew Southgate and Richard Bland of England, German's Florian Fritsch, South Africa's Jean Hugo and France's Gregory Havret all shared seventh place and each of them gained 44,333 points.
Southgate moved from 52nd to 47th and he is almost assured of a place in the DP World Tour Championship with his season total now standing at 502,846 points, while Bland marches forward in the Race to Dubai rankings, moving from 30th to 28th with a season-total of 818,296 points.
Bradley Dredge of Wales, England's Tommy Fleetwood, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, Paul Peterson of USA, France's Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Sweden's Magnus Carlsson and Australia's Richard Green all finished tied-13th, with each of them winning 28,285 points.
Elsewhere, European Tour member and World Number Three, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, made a double swoop as he won both the US PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship, emulating both his 2015 achievement of winning both the Race to Dubai and DP World Tour Championship winner as well as Sweden’s Henrik Stenson’s 2013 achievement. The USA's Patrick Reed, who is also a European Tour member and ranked eighth in the world, finished tied third in the FedEx Cup.
England's reigning Masters Tournament champion Danny Willett, who is ranked 10th in the world, remains on top of the Race to Dubai rankings, with a total of 3,543,175 points, whilst World Number Five Stenson is in second with 3,130,447 points and reigning Race to Dubai champion McIlroy sits in third place with 2,487,204 points.
All four World Top Ten players will compete in this year’s DP World Tour Championship.
“We’re are thrilled to see our European Tour players performing so well in the US and we hope it bodes well for this week’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine,” added Tarratt. “To have four of the top 10 players in the world already confirmed for the field at Jumeirah Golf Estates is testament to the quality of our season-ending event attracts and it will be a pleasure watch these players in action in Dubai.”