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Levy a Jewish birdie on the European Tour

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JACK MILNER

This young Jewish golfer was born in Orange County, California in 1990; however, both of his parents are French. For whatever reason (perhaps he felt the opposition in the US was too strong) he decided he would rather play out of France and now lives in Bandol which is a small town on the Côte d’Azur and he is already listed as their most significant resident.   

Levy had a glittering amateur career, winning the 2009 French Amateur Championship as well as finishing fifth in the Lytham Trophy that same year.

In 2010, he won the renowned Coupe Murat (French International Amateur Championship). He was also selected to represent France on numerous occasions and played an integral part in winning the Eisenhower Trophy World Team Championship in 2010, where he also finished second in the individual ranking.

The Eisenhower Trophy is one of the most important events on the amateur calendar and is similar to the Ryder Cup. Like the Ryder Cup, it is a biennial event. It started in 1958 and many top golfers have cut their teeth at this tournament.

Players who have featured in a winning Eisenhower Trophy team and later became leading professional golfers include Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy, Bruce Fleisher, Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Scott Hoch, Hal Sutton, Michael Campbell, Tiger Woods, Ben Curtis and Luke Donald, so Levy finds himself in very good company, indeed!

The Frenchman wrapped up his amateur career during the 2011 summer by winning the European Team Championship.

Since turning professional, Levy’s priority was to fulfil his goal on the Challenge Tour in 2012 where he had already impressed many by finishing third at both the Fred Olsen Challenge de Espana and the Kazakhstan Open. He completed his first year on Challenge Tour in an excellent 30th place on the final rankings.

Although he could have satisfied himself with that achievement, he made the most of his opportunities when he captured his European Tour card for 2013 at Qualifying School. He did not take long to make his mark on the European Tour when he finished in 10th place at the Lyoness Open as the Russian Open and then third at the BMW International Open, playing in the final group over the weekend, battling for victory.

The golfer who went on to win the BMW Open and is the man who has been Levy’s greatest hero since he started playing, is none other than South Africa’s Ernie Els, affectionately known as “The Big Easy”. He also had an impressive third place finish at the Thailand Golf Championship behind Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson.

But his career has really taken off in 2014 and he came away with two titles on the European Tour.

His first win of the year came at the Volvo China Open, an event co-sanctioned with the OneAsia Tour, where he shot a 19-under-par 269. During the second round Levy shot a course record 62 at Genzon Golf Club, giving him a four-stroke lead at the halfway point from which he was able to hold on to win.

As a result of the victory he was named in April 2014, European Tour Golfer of the Month.

Last month Levy claimed his second European Tour title at the Portugal Masters. The tournament was beset by rain and was eventually decided over 36 holes. Levy stood in the rain to receive the trophy.

Levy’s first appearance in a major championship was at the 2014 PGA Championship in which he finished tied 30th.

He is regarded by his peers as a personable, well-educated young man and perceived as one of the greatest talents in French golf. The future looks bright for him and success is surely just around the corner. His biggest dream is to represent Europe in the 2018 Ryder Cup when it will be played in his home country for the first time.

Watch out for the name Alexander Levy. It is bound to become a household name in golf in years to come.

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