SHANGHAI (AFP) - Long-time BMW Masters leader Alexander Levy admitted that he will have to work on playing in the wind, after blowing the biggest payday of his career with a six-over par 78 in the final round on Sunday.
The Frenchman had led after the first round and again by four shots after his stunning 63 in benign conditions on Saturday, but could not convert in near gale-force conditions and instead the US$1.166 million (S$1.5 million) top prize went to Germany's Marcel Siem.
"I didn't miss a lot of shots," he told AFP. "Just some wrong shots in the wrong spots and some very bad putting with the wind.
"It's not the first time it's happened so I think I need to work on that. It was the same at the Dunhill Links Championship in the last round."
Levy, who was a staggering 22 under for 54 holes, having made only one bogey in three rounds, dropped shots at three of the first nine holes on Sunday.
By the time he walked off the 18th he had six bogeys and a double-bogey seven on an untidy card.
He finally surrendered the lead at the 16th, only for the German to drop shots at the final two holes.
It meant a three-man play-off at 16-under par with Siem, who carded a one-over 73, and England's Ross Fisher, who shot the outstanding round of the day with a five-under 67, having started the day 11 shots adrift of Levy.
Siem chipped in sensationally for birdie at the first play-off hole as Levy and Fisher both missed lengthy birdie putts.
"I need to work on my putting when there's a strong wind. It's only that really," Levy, who has won this year's China Open and Portugal Masters, conceded.
"To have a second bite at the cherry was always nice," said Fisher. "Hats off to Marcel to chip in like that. Can't congratulate him enough."
Siem picked up his fourth win on the European Tour but his most important of them all.
The 1,166,000 Race to Dubai points propelled him from 53rd to fourth in the standings with only Rory McIlroy, Jamie Donaldson and Sergio Garcia ahead of him.
It also secured him an entry into the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which begins on Thursday.
Levy moved from 19th to seventh in the Race to Dubai and Fisher jumped significantly from 49th to 15th on the list.
The top 15 in the standings after the season-ending DP world Tour Championship in Dubai in three weeks' time will share a US$5 million bonus pool.