Tue, Jul 17, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Havret defies odds to beat Mickelson, win Scottish Open

AFP , LOCH LOMOND, SCOTLAND

Gregory Havret lifts the trophy after winning the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond, Scotland, on Sunday.

Photo: AP

Gregory Havret will head into the first major tournament of his career on a champagne-induced high this week after his stunning Scottish Open success at the weekend.

The Frenchman defied the odds and Phil Mickelson to pull off the biggest win of his career in a play-off with the world No. 3 after four days of golf that belied his status as the 320th-ranked player in the world.

Havret, who was showered with fizz by his compatriots Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin after clinching his victory with a par to Mickelson's bogey at the first play-off hole, also ensured he will be in the field for the British Open at Carnoustie. It will be his first appearance in one of golf's major tournaments.

"A few months ago, I missed qualifying for the US Open by one spot, so this is just like a dream," he said.

"I don't have enough words to say how much this means to me. I always knew it was possible, especially on a course like this one, which I love so much, but, especially playing with Phil, it was just an amazing experience," he said.

Having missed no fewer than nine cuts this season, Havret suddenly found some form at the French Open two weeks ago and followed that up with a share of third place at the European Open in Dublin last weekend.

It was his first win since he claimed the 2001 Italian Open in his first year on tour and the £500,000 (US$1 million) winner's cheque was four times bigger than his previous best - which came in Dublin.

The remarkable turnaround in his fortunes is something Havret attributes to the work he has done with Jos Vanstiphout, the Belgian sports pscyhologist most noted for helping Ernie Els realize his full potential.

"Jos came to me at the French and we spoke a little bit every day and this week it helped me a lot," Havret explained.

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