Levet’s harvest in Forest of Arden with first Staysure win at Farmfoods Masters

2019 Farmfoods European Seniors Masters winner Thomas Levet
Thomas Levet claimed his first Staysure title in the Farmfoods European Seniors Masters at the Forest of Arden, beating Markus Brier by a shot. Picture by GETTY IMAGES

THOMAS Levet won his first Staysure Tour title by carding the lowest round of the final day at the Farmfoods European Senior Masters, at Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club.

The Frenchman, who made his over-50s debut in this event last year, posted a closing four-under par round of 68 to reach 10-under for the tournament hosted by Midlands Ryder Cup star Peter Baker.

That was one shot clear of Austrian Markus Brier, who finished second on nine-under, and two shots clear of Paul Lawrie, Jarmo Sandelin and Ian Woosnam, who shared third place on eight-under.

Levet came out firing and made the turn in four-under, which was how he finished after carding three birdies and three bogeys on the back nine.

But he holed a tricky short par putt on the 18th hole to secure victory at the Coventry course which regularly hosted the British Masters 20 years ago.

“It’s just a pleasure, a pleasure to win,” Levet said. “I’ve been close lately, close to winning. I’ve been playing really well but my putter has not been there at all.

“My long game has been very good and I finally made some putts this week, added Levet, whose first win on English soil came in the 2001 British Masters after the event moved to Woburn after Victor Chandler became the title sponor.

“I started making some putts yesterday and it held up pretty well and I’m pleased because the conditions were really tough.

“To par the last hole here at Forest of Arden, it’s 218 yards into the wind, it’s enormous and I managed to hold my nerve and make par there, so it’s a great feeling,” added Levet.

The 51-year-old – who was on the winning European team at the 2004 Ryder Cup at Oakland Hills, reached his final total by the time he made the turn and after that, it was a case of keeping his nerve and going back to basics.

Levet, who also lost a play-off in the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield, revealed: “I knew I was in the lead because I got off to a quick start and was four-under after nine, birdieing eight and nine.

“They were two tough holes and I knew I was in the lead because there is a leaderboard right there. There are no illusions: You see it and you know you are in the lead.

“I tried to keep my nerve and hit the greens. Paul Lawrie was fighting hard and he was holing putts to stay just behind me and he is always dangerous.

“He hit a beautiful shot on 17 but only made birdie and I made a safe par. I knew I had a one-shot lead on 18 and I managed to par it.

“I got an albatross last week in Austria and I won a big bottle of wine and I gave it to Markus Brier – so maybe that’s why I won the tournament.

“I gave him something last week and I wasn’t going to give him the play-off today,” said Levet, who won six times on the European Tour – has last victory was an emotional one at the 2011 French Open at Le Paris National.

On a day of difficult scoring conditions in England, only 12 players posted under-par rounds, including all of those finishing in a tie for third or better, with overnight leader Paul Broadhurst posting a level-par 72 to finish in sixth place.

South Africa’s James Kingston continued his good run of form by picking up his third top 10 in his last four starts by finishing seventh, while Qualifying School graduate José Manuel Carriles achieved the same feat by finishing eighth on five-under.

With victory, Levet moves up to 20th on the Staysure Tour Order of Merit having played only eight events this season, while Broadhurst’s sixth place at Forest of Arden was enough for him to leapfrog José Coceres and Bernhard Langer into second place in the money list.

Final scores:
206 T Levet (Fra) 69 69 68,
207 M Brier (Aut) 68 70 69,
208 P Lawrie (Sco) 69 69 70, J Sandelin (Swe) 68 71 69, I Woosnam (Wal) 70 68 70,
209 P Broadhurst (Eng) 69 68 72,
210 J Kingston (RSA) 71 69 70,
211 J Carriles (Esp) 70 70 71,
212 S Dodd (Wal) 68 71 73,
213 D Shacklady (Eng) 68 71 74, P Baker (Eng) 66 74 73, P Fowler (Aus) 70 68 75, D Olsen (USA) 67 74 72, G Marks (Eng) 71 71 71,
214 M Molina (Arg) 68 70 76, J Lomas (Eng) 72 71 71, C Suneson (Esp) 72 70 72,
215 J Haeggman (Swe) 74 70 71, P Price (Wal) 69 73 73,
216 R Gomez (Arg) 69 72 75, C Williams (RSA) 70 71 75, P Streeter (Eng) 75 68 73, P Wilson (Eng) 76 69 71, A Bossert (Sui) 72 71 73,
217 M Martin (Esp) 75 67 75,
218 T Thelen (USA) 71 75 72, G Wolstenholme (Eng) 72 72 74, G Evans (Eng) 70 68 80, S Tinning (Den) 70 75 73,
219 A Oldcorn (Sco) 74 74 71, M Farry (Fra) 70 72 77, M Mouland (Wal) 75 71 73, D Gilford (Eng) 75 69 75,
220 M Mackenzie (Eng) 71 73 76,
221 S Luna (Esp) 74 71 76,
222 S Brown (Eng) 73 77 72, C Dennis (USA) 75 73 74, P Golding (Eng) 76 68 78, P Eales (Eng) 69 73 80,
223 J Quiros (Esp) 73 73 77, J Coceres (Arg) 75 73 75,
224 J Remesy (Fra) 69 73 82,
227 S Richardson (Eng) 72 77 78,
228 D Smyth (Irl) 76 77 75, P Wesselingh (Eng) 75 73 80,
229 A Sherborne (Eng) 79 77 73, N Job (Eng) 78 79 72,
231 M Reynard (Eng) 78 75 78,
235 S Little (Eng) 76 74 85,
236 G Emerson (Eng) 75 81 80, C Rocca (Ita) 82 77 77, P Walton (Irl) 75 81 80,
247 N Sweet (Eng) 83 83 81,
** M Atlevi (Swe) DQ 0 0,

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