Jordan Smith of England won his first European Tour title, defeating defending champion Alexander Levy in a playoff for the Porsche European Open in Hamburg, Germany.
Jordan Smith defeated defending champion Alexander Levy of France on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Porsche European Open at the Green Eagle Golf Course in Hamburg.
Defending champion Alexander Levy led the tournament by a shot with just the 72nd hole to play. But his tee shot on the par-5 last found the right hand rough, while playing partner Smith hit a fine drive down the centre of the fairway.
Alex Levy swing sequence:
Levy had no choice but to lay up, whereas Smith waited for the green to clear. When it did, the Englishman hit a pure 3-wood from some 250 yards out and it cut through the headwind and flew over the green, into thick rough behind the putting surface.
Levy played a decent third but it came up 15 feet short of the pin. Smith’s recovery from the rough was an excellent one and he managed to stop the ball within six feet of the hole.
The Frenchman raced his putt for the win and it missed on the high side, the ball ending four feet beyond the cup. Smith rolled his birdie effort home and that left Levy with a tester to force the playoff. He knocked it in and extra holes were required.
Smith and Levy returned to the tee of the par-5 18th and both reached the green in two blows. But Levy looked to have it sewn up with three-feet for birdie after Smith missed his birdie effort. But the Frenchman missed his short putt and they made their way back to the tee once again.
Second time round it was Smith who was left with a three-foot putt for the victory and he made no mistake. He knocked it in and claimed his first European Tour title.
3 Talking points from the Porsche European Open
1 – Jordan Smith has enjoyed quite a career progression in recent seasons. After a successful amateur career, he headed the standings on the PGA EuroPro Tour in 2015 and last year he took the Road to Oman title on the Challenge Tour. Now he is a winner on the main European Tour circuit.
“I’ve loved it. It’s been nerve-wracking at times but I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s all a bit surreal. Obviously the Challenge Tour last year and the EuroPro the year before that. It’s been fun. I had a really good start to the year and the first aim was just to secure my Tour card, which I managed to do. And then the second goal was to win an event, which I’ve managed to do.”
2 – It was a good week for Johan Edfors who finished in a tie for third. The Swede hadn’t recorded a top-three finish on the European Tour since 2011 and he’s been struggling with his form. Edfors won three times on the European Tour back in 2006.
“It’s my best result in a long time and it was nice to see that I could turn it around today and play good under pressure,” he said. “I’m really happy with four solid rounds so I will try to bring that to the next event.”
3 – Also tied for third was Siddikur Rahman. It was quite an achievement for the Bangladeshi golfer. On a course playing well over 7,000 yards, it was a tough challenge for Rahman who has averaged just 267 yards off the tee this season – he’s 283rd on the European Tour driving stats. He was hitting 3-wood into many of the par-4s for his second shots.
“I couldn’t expect this today but I am very fortunate my hitting was good, especially my putting – it was really good all four days – so I am really happy with today’s round,” he said.
Porsche European Open
Green Eagle Golf Courses, Hamburg, Germany
Purse: €2,000,000 Par: 72
1 Jordan Smith (Eng) 70 67 67 71 275 €333,330
2 Alexander Levy (Fra) 67 70 69 69 275 €222,220
T3 Siddikur Rahman (Ban) 70 66 73 68 277 €112,600
T3 Johan Edfors (Swe) 71 67 69 70 277 €112,600
T5 Zander Lombard (RSA) 70 72 69 67 278 €71,600
T5 Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 71 66 70 71 278 €71,600
T5 Jens Fahrbring (Swe) 68 68 70 72 278 €71,600
T8 Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 72 70 72 65 279 €42,900
T8 Richie Ramsay (Sco) 70 68 71 70 279 €42,900
T8 Luca Cianchetti (Ita) 71 67 71 70 279 €42,900
T8 Ashley Chesters (Eng) 68 67 72 72 279 €42,900
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage