Italian Open preview

Home favourite Francesco Molinari defends his title and is joined by older brother Edoardo

Tournament: Italian Open

Course: Castello di Tolcinasco G & CC, Milan

Prize fund: 1,700,000

Course details: par 72, 7283 yards. Opened for play in 1993, this Arnold Palmer design offers the prospect of a low scoring week. Players with a draw will benefit from the right-to-left doglegs but will still have to negotiate the frequent water hazards.

Key hole: The 18th may well be the hole that decides the Italian Open. Last year's winner, Francesco Molinari, birdied the 423-yard par 4 in his final round. If it's close come Sunday expect the title to go to the player who takes his chance on the last hole.

The lowdown: With a record prize fund up for grabs this year, competition will be fierce. Charl Schwartzel, now up to sixth on the Order of Merit, will look to carry forward the form that saw him take his second European Tour title last week. American Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman will make his first appearance in the tournament. However, the Italian crowds will be cheering on home favourite Molinari (pictured), who will be aiming to become the first Italian to successfully defend a title in European Tour history. His elder brother Edoardo, current leader on the Challenge Tour standings, is also in the field.

Contenders: Francesco Molinari, Charl Schwartzel.

Betting Guide: For betting tips from our expert Paul Krishnamurty click here

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