Thomas Levet edges out Mark Foster at French Open

Thomas Levet kisses the French Open trophy
The win comes 25 years after Level made his French Open debut

Frenchman Thomas Levet pipped Britain's Mark Foster by a single stroke to win the French Open at Le Golf National.

The 42-year-old was three shots behind going into the final day but his round of 70 put him at seven under overall.

Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark could have forced a play-off but he missed a four-foot putt for par on the 18th and had to settle for second with Foster.

Britain's James Morrison, an overnight leader at nine under, slumped to joint seventh place after carding a 78.

Levet's win comes 25 years after his debut in the French Open and many of his supporters were shouting for him to be Europe's Ryder Cup captain when the competition comes to La Golf National in 2018.

"The atmosphere today was great," said a delighted Levet after his win.

"The people were going 'allez, allez, allez' and some of them go 'captain, captain'. I felt like one of the Tour de France riders climbing a mountain.

"You can tell your friends, 2018, France is ready."

Levet had a shaky start to his winning round. An impressive birdie at the first made way for a three-putt four on the par-three second.

He faced two penalty drops on the third - but managed the drag the momentum to his favour by nailing a 60-foot birdie putt on the fourth.

Mark Foster competing in the French Open
Foster missed his chance to qualify for the British Open later this month

A 12-foot putt for par on the 17th proved crucial as it applied the pressure on Oleson coming into the final hole - the 21-year-old's miss from close range was enough to give Levet the title.

Going into the final day, the lead was an all-British affair shared by Morrison and Foster.

But 26-year-old Morrison started his day in the water - skewing his approach shot to the first green into the lake.

The wayward effort meant Morrison began his final round the same way he ended Saturday's - by dropping three shots in two holes.

His final-round score of 78 left him in joint seventh place at two under.

Foster made a solid start to his final round with 11 successive pars but a double-bogey on the 12th and a three-putt finish on the 13th paved the way for Levet to take the lead.

A 20-foot birdie attempt on the last hole fell short, giving the Worksop man a card of 74 from a birdie-less final day.

The joint second finish means Foster misses out on a qualifying place for the Open in Sandwich later this month. Olesen took that honour because of his higher world ranking position.

Levet, who lost the 2002 Open after a five-hole play-off at Muirfield, qualified for Sandwich earlier in the month.