McDowell wins rain-drenched Italian Open

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won a fourth extra hole play-off against Frenchman Thomas Levet on Monday to win the rain-hit Italian Open.

McDowell wins rain-drenched Italian Open

Milan:

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland won a fourth extra hole play-off against Frenchman Thomas Levet on Monday to win the rain-hit Italian Open. The Monday finish was the first on the European Tour since Paul Lawrie won the Dunhill Links at St Andrews in 2001. The Northern Irishman finally outdid France's Thomas Levet, who paid the price for finding the water with his approach on the 18th after the two had matched one another shot for shot in a play-off which lasted almost an hour. Behind them were Frenchman, Gregory Havret, who finished third and one stroke behind was second-round leader Angel Cabrera of Argentina who ended fourth. In the end, McDowell had two putts to secure the win - and he duly rolled up and knocked in from a matter of inches to claim what he later described as his first "professional" victory. The 24-year-old was finally following up his first tour success, which came at the Scandinavian Masters back in 2002. McDowell certainly had to battle as Levet pushed him all the way. Both players parred the first extra hole at the par-four 18th and a re-run on the same hole produced the same result. They then moved on to the 17th to try to settle the issue but this time both players scored birdies. As the rains returned in what has been a sodden tournament, it was back to the 18th where Levet finally gave way with a wayward shot into the lake. McDowell had been tied for the lead overnight on 18 under with another Frenchman, Gregory Havret, in an event reduced to 54 holes and pushed into a fifth day by weekend storms. Each of the contenders carded 65s in the final round. But as Havret failed to improve his standing over the two holes he had left on Monday morning, it was his compatriot Levet who emerged as McDowell's play-off rival. Levet made up two shots in four holes on Monday and managed to sink a tricky eight-footer for par on the last to hold on. McDowell also parred the 18th for the first of four times on Monday to set up the finale. (AP)

Topics : Golf
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