Incredible Fritelli meltdown opens door for Levy in China

Updated: 

Dylan Frittelli's astonishing last-hole meltdown paved the way for Alexander Levy to secure the China Open in a play-off with the South African.

Frittelli's fabulous round of 64 on Saturday had left him three shots clear in search of his maiden European Tour title, but he was two over going into the final hole on Sunday, with Frenchman Levy pulling level thanks to a five-under round of 67 at Topwin Golf and Country Club.

With both players on 17 under, Frittelli still had the 18th to play. Though he was straight enough off the tee, what followed was truly remarkable.

Still 250 yards from the hole, Frittelli took a three wood to his approach and clubbed it straight over the temporary stand to the side of the green - his ball coming to a stop between a tree, some television cabling and a fire extinguisher.

Having benefited from a lucky bounce off the same stand on Saturday, Frittelli was able to drop his ball back on the greenside rough and eventually two-putted for par, taking the tournament to sudden death.

Back on the 18th, Levy had the advantage off the tee, Frittelli driving into a bunker but recovering well to give himself a birdie chance from 20 feet, while Levy also had to make the green via sand after a stray approach.

When Frittelli's putt attempt came half a foot short, Levy had the chance to seal his first win on the Tour since the European Open last September, and the Frenchman made no mistake to spark fist-pumping celebrations.

Having become the first man to win the tournament twice, Levy immediately set his sights on earning a Ryder Cup spot in time to compete in his homeland in 2018.

"It's a goal and a dream for me to play the Ryder Cup in France," he said. "I will do a lot of work to play the Ryder Cup and I will do my best to be part of the team."