Thomas Levet took plenty of positives from his week at The Open Championship, despite spending his entire time in the commentary booth rather than out on the links at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club.
Having missed out on qualifying for the 140th staging of golf’s oldest tournament, the Frenchman took to the ‘Canal+’ microphone to provide a professional’s take on the unique atmosphere and demands of a Major Championship.
During the course of offering his insights and dispensing forthright views to the French golfing public, Levet also learned a thing or two himself about the game in which he has excelled since joining the professional ranks back in 1988.
Levet has sampled the rarefied atmosphere of The Open Championship on nine occasions, and came agonisingly close to lifting the Claret jug at Muirfield in 2002 – only to be beaten in a play-off by a certain South African.
Fast forward ten years, and Ernie Els was being acclaimed The Open Champion for a second time, with Levet on the outside looking in. But rather than dwelling on what might have been, the former Ryder Cup star came away from the experience feeling re-energised and more determined than ever to return to the higher echelons of the Official World Golf Ranking.
He said: “Of course I would’ve preferred to play The Open, but commentating on it really opened my eyes and made me realise that I’m as good as most of the guys out there. When you watch them, you realise that even the best players in the world make mistakes.
“So it’s reassuring to know that nobody’s perfect, we’re all human, and we all make stupid mistakes sometimes. That’s the nature of golf, you’re probably never going to play the perfect round in your whole career. The best players in the world haven’t got to that position because they make the least mistakes, it’s more because they manage to stay focused and get out of trouble when they do make mistakes.
“So sometimes it’s good to take a step back and observe other players like I did last week. All players hit bad shots, it’s how you react to them that matters. Maybe I haven’t always reacted the right way, so now that’s going to change – I hope!”
Having talked the talk last week, Levet has certainly walked the walk so far this week, with rounds of 65 and 70 propelling him to second place behind Thorbjørn Olesen at the midway stage of the Lyoness Open powered by Greenfinity.