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Broken leg puts Levet out of Scottish Open

Thomas Levet joined the long list of sportsmen for whom failure to treat the imposter that is triumph with equanimity brought on personal disaster as he was forced to withdraw from the Barclays Scottish Open just hours after winning the French Open yesterday.

In another moment of French farce which brought back memories of countryman Jean van de Velde’s visit to the Barry Burn ahead of losing the 1999 Open Championship to Paul Lawrie in a play-off at Carnoustie, Levet leapt into a lake adjacent to the 18th green, only to suffer a broken leg as a consequence.

It was a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the 42-year-old, who was celebrating winning his home Open for the first time on the 25th anniversary of his first attempt. It denied him the chance to contest an event at which he produced another memorable celebration -- he conducted the pipe band after winning the 2004 Scottish Open.

The former Ryder Cup player, who came agonisingly close to becoming a Major championship winner at the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield when, along with Australians Stuart Appleby and Steve Elkington, he lost out to Ernie Els in a play-off, has not yet given up hope of playing at Sandwich next week.

However even for a man who recovered from a career-threatening bout of vertigo five years ago, that seems exceedingly unlikely given the extent of the damage, as revealed in a statement issued by his management company IMG last night.

“Thomas has a small fracture on his shin and has withdrawn from the Scottish Open,” they reported. “He picked up this injury after jumping into the water in celebration of winning the Alstom Open de France.

“Although he currently has a cast on his leg he will not withdraw from the Open Championship until he has received intensive treatment to the fracture and has consulted with a specialist again later this week.

“He will, of course, be doing everything he can to tee up at the Open Championship next week.”

Levet is not the only well-known figure to have been forced to withdraw from the Barclays Scottish Open. It was confirmed yesterday that Jose-Maria Olazabal, the Ryder Cup captain, will not take part because of the back problem that has kept him out of action since the BMW PGA Championship in May.

His fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, one of the big hitters who was thought to have the potential to take maximum advantage of Castle Stuart’s wide, open fairways, has also pulled out because of a shoulder problem.

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