This year’s Ryder Cup in Paris looks set to have a gaggle of brash, uber-talented Americans, wily veterans, a European team packed full of young talent and maybe even Tiger Woods. But it might be missing one key ingredient – a Frenchman.
Though not if Alexander Levy has anything to say about it.
Levy was born in California to French parents but has lived in Bandol, on the Cote d’Azur, since he was four years old. The seven-year pro has never taken part in a Masters, has never made the cut at The Open and his best major finish was tied-27th at the 2015 US Open. In short, he feels like an unlikely Ryder Cup selection.
And yet Europe captain Thomas Bjorn admitted at the launch of the competition last year that he would like a French representative in the team if possible. Levy just made it more so with a vital win this weekend in the Hassan Trophy.
“This feels so good,” said Levy, who held off Spaniard Alvaro Quiros to win the event in Morocco and catapult himself into the top 10 of the Ryder Cup standings.
“I’m a little bit tired now because it was really tough today, but I did a really good job. For me, I played an amazing game and I’m so happy to win this trophy.”
And when asked about his hopes of making the 12-man team to play at Le Golf National in September, Levy said he was focused on improving and continuing to win tournaments to force his way into the picture.
“I said at the start of the season, I need to improve my game,” he added. “I need to work a lot, but I worked a lot the last two days, two weeks, and I won this trophy.
“So that’s helped me but step by step, it’s a good win but I need to go back to work because we can see we have a lot of good players in Europe. So it will be tough to make it.”
While Levy’s win now makes him the ninth-ranked golfer in the European points table – sandwiched between Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia – this year will see captain Bjorn handed an extra wildcard pick while tournaments closer to the Ryder Cup will also offer extra points in the chase for team berths. Although well-positioned now, Levy and his camp know there is a lot of golf to be played before he can believe he is in the team.
Levy didn’t beat the strongest field in Morocco to bag himself those valuable points, but if he is to be in contention for a place in the European team and a shot at being a French national hero then he will likely need more trophies in his cabinet by the end of the summer. And if he misses out, it won’t be for the want of trying.
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