Thomas Levet described himself as living out a dream yesterday when he finally captured the French Open championship 25 years after first playing in it.
Tipped as a possible captain when the Ryder Cup is staged at Le Golf National near Paris in 2018, the 42-year-old local hero triumphed on the course by a shot from England's Mark Foster and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen.
Former cup player Levet came into the event ranked 352nd in the world, but from three behind with a round to go a closing one-under-par 70 gave him a victory worth over £442,000.
"It was just crazy – the way it went was just like a dream," he said after Olesen had missed a four-foot par putt on the last and then long-time leader Foster had left a 20-foot birdie try short.
"The people were going 'Allez, allez, allez' and some of them go 'Captain, captain'. The atmosphere was great – I had everyone behind me, basically the same as a Ryder Cup, and it was the same adrenalin rush. It's the first time my kids have seen me win. I'm not done yet!"
Olesen's higher world ranking gave him the last remaining place in the Open at Sandwich.