McDowell Outlasts Levet in Playoff

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04 Open de ItaliaMILAN, Italy -- Graeme McDowell parred the fourth playoff hole Monday morning to defeat Thomas Levet and win the Telecom Italia Open. Both players closed with 7-under 65s to force extra holes as they finished at 19-under-par 197.
 
Weather problems that completely washed out play on Friday forced not only the Monday finish, but also the reduction of the tournament to 54 holes. A total of 18 players returned to the course on Monday to complete their final rounds.
 
Levet and McDowell each had four holes to play when they returned to Castello di Tolcinasco Golf and Country Club on Monday. The duo had each birdied their final hole, No. 14, on Sunday.
 
The pair picked up where they left off as they both birdied the par-5 15th Monday morning. Levet forged a tie at minus-19 with a birdie at the par-4 17th.
 
McDowell had a chance of his own to win it on the 17th, but missed an eight-foot birdie try. After both men parred the closing hole, it was back to the 18th tee for the playoff.
 
In the playoff, the duo played the par-4 18th twice and both times they walked away with pars. Both men were determined to walk away the winner and it showed as they each birdied the third extra hole, No. 17.
 
The pair returned to the 18th tee for the third time in the playoff. McDowell dropped his second shot safely on the green. Levet, facing a 6-iron to the green from a downhill lie, caught his shot fat and it splashed down in the water short of the green.
 
McDowell took advantage that mistake. He calmly two-putted for this par and the win. It was his second win on the European Tour, with his first coming at the 2002 Volvo Scandinavian Masters.
 
'When I won in Sweden I felt I was still an amateur,' said McDowell, who picked up 200,000 euros for the win. 'I feel this is my first professional victory and I am a very happy man. I was still playing as an amateur when I won in Sweden. I was two months into my professional career.
 
'Looking back and knowing what I know now and feeling how much better my game is, now I feel I was still an amateur then. Since then I have had two years of working, grinding out here and it is a different world. I feel I worked hard for this one and it feels five times better than Sweden.'
 
Levet, who was in search of his first win since the 2001 British Masters, was not disappointed with his finish.
 
'I had a little 6-iron on the last and hit it fat into the lake,' Levet said. 'But I wasn't playing well coming into this week so if someone had said I would be in a playoff I would have taken it. It just seems when I play well someone else does as well.'
 
Gregory Havret also closed with a 65 to finish alone in third pace at 18-under-par 198. Angel Cabrera closed with a 3-under 69 to finish one stroke further back at minus-17.
 
Alastair Forsyth ended in sixth place by himself at 15-under-par 201 after finishing with a 5-under 67. Ian Poulter, Marcel Siem and Joakim Haeggman were one stroke behind him at minus-14.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - 61st Telecom Italia Open
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