European Tour – News, Volvo China Open
Levy keeping his mind in the present in China – European Tour
Alexander Levy insists he is fully focused on defending his Volvo China Open title this week after his victory at the Trophée Hassan II increased his chances of playing in a home Ryder Cup later this year.
The Frenchman’s win last week at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam made him the only player with wins in the last three European Tour seasons and also moved him just one victory behind Thomas Levet on the list of all-time French winners.
The eyes of the golfing world will be on France in September when the Ryder Cup takes place at Le Golf National but Levy does not want to think too much about the biennial showpiece, knowing that he must let his game do the talking if he is to make Thomas Bjørn’s Team.
“Nothing has changed with regard to the Ryder Cup,” he said. “I’m the same person, same thinking. I want to do the same things, just enjoy my life, play golf and we will see what happens.
“To say the Ryder Cup is my goal, of course it is because everyone dreams about this, but for me we have so many good players in Europe.
“Right now, I need to improve my game to be on this Team and I just have to think of my own game and not think too much about the Ryder Cup. I just want to play my best.”
His first concern is this week at Topwin Golf & Country Club, where he is looking to become the first man to win the trophy three times.
He beat Dylan Frittelli in a play-off last season to follow up his 2014 victory and is brimming with confidence on a course where he knows he can perform well.
“It was really good last week, it’s hard to say anything other than that,” he said. “I’m really pleased with what I did last week, especially under the pressure, it was really nice to react like that and to win that trophy.
I need to improve my game to be on this Team and I just have to think of my own game and not think too much about the Ryder Cup – Alexander Levy
“It was also really good here last year. I remember I was five shots back with nine holes to play but then I was just one shot back and that was when I started thinking about winning the tournament. It was really nice to get this trophy.
“I was really happy with my game last week and I really like this golf course. There are a lot of wedge shots on this course so we need to be good from the tee and then you can be really aggressive on the greens. That’s the key.
“The winning score is almost always around 20 under or so, so you need to shoot some low scores out there. I’m just thinking now step-by-step and I will try to be 100 per cent for Thursday because I am a little bit tired from the adrenaline last week, the travel and the jet lag. I will save energy and try to be in the best position for my golf and for the rest of the season.”
Li chasing history in Beijing – European Tour
Li Haotong returns to home soil this week hunting for a place in the record books at the Volvo China Open.
The Chinese has enjoyed a rapid rise on the European Tour since first coming to prominence when losing out to Kiradech Aphibarnrat at the 2015 Shenzhen International.
A year later he went on to win this event and in 2017 he got global attention as a stunning closing 63 saw him finish third at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
The 22 year old held off four-time Major Championship winner Rory McIlroy to claim his second title at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January and than made the cut on his debut at the Masters Tournament.
All that means a win at Topwin Golf & Country Club this week would see Li become the first Chinese player to win three European Tour events, the first player from the country to win twice in the same season and he would join defending champion Alexander Levy as the only players to win the Volvo China Open twice.
“It would mean a lot for sure,” he said. “To play golf in front of your friends and family and all the people is going to be big for me.
“Hopefully I can play well this week and give some support for golf in our country.” – Li Haotong
“It’s definitely very exciting to be back at home playing the Volvo China Open and hopefully I can play well this week and give some support for golf in our country.
“The course conditions are really good, especially the green conditions, they’re quite fast, so I’m looking forward to playing this week.”