Alexander Levy defends Porsche European Open

The Frenchman is in Hamburg trying to win back-to-back European Open titles

Alexander Levy defends Porsche European Open
Alexander Levy defends Porsche European Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale last week, the European Tour travels to Germany for the Porsche European Open. Alexander Levy will be the defending champion at the Green Eagle golf course in Hamburg.

Following last week's thrilling Open Championship, many of the European Tour’s top players will be in Hamburg this week to contest the Porsche European Open. Frenchman Alexander Levy defends the title and Thorbjorn Olesen, Charl Schwartzel, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Matteo Manassero are on the start sheet.

There’s a change of venue and timing on the schedule for this event in 2017. For the last two years the event was contested at Bad Griesbach in Bavaria at the end of September. This season, the tournament is being contested at the Green Eagle Golf Club in Hamburg.

The North Course at Green Eagle GC in Hamburg is one of three at the 186-hectare venue. The track was used for the ECCO Tour Championship on the Challenge Tour in 2010.

This event was first contested on the European Tour in 1978 when Bobby Wadkins was the victor at Walton Heath GC. The tournament has been played at some of the finest courses – Turnberry, Sunningdale, Royal Liverpool and, for a number of years, at the K Club in Ireland. Previous winners of the competition include: Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Tom Kite, Sandy Lyle, Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie.

The event disappeared from the schedule after the 2009 season but made a welcome return in 2015 when Thongchai Jaidee was the winner. Last season France’s Alexander Levy came through a sudden-death playoff against Ross Fisher at the second extra hole to claim his third European Tour title.

The weather forecast looks pretty grim with rain likely every day until Sunday.

Venue: Green Eagle Golf Course, Hamburg, Germany Date: July 27-30 Course stats: par 72, 7,582 yards Purse: €2,000,000 Defending Champion: Alexander Levy (-19)

TV Coverage: Thursday 27 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Friday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 10am Saturday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm Sunday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm

Player Watch: Charl Schwartzel – The South African produced an excellent first round at Birkdale last week only to fade in round two. But, he’s a solid competitor and this is the sort of course that should suit his game.

Thorbjorn Olesen – The Dane has been on a good run since the BMW PGA Championship. He hasn’t missed a cut since then and has been tied 4th in Sweden and tied 3rd in France.

Thorbjorn Olesen swing sequence:

Alex Levy – The defending champion can be brilliant when he gets on a run and he has shown signs of finding his best form in recent weeks – a second round 66 at Dundonald showed promise. It’s only three months since he won in China.

Key hole: 18th. A par-5 that can stretch over 600 yards, this is a classic finishing hole. Water lurks all down the left side and an approach, be it a bold second or a regulation third, must carry the water to find a green that juts out into the lake. This one could witness some real drama towards the end of the event.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?