European Tour: Open D’Italia Preview

The European Tour travels to Italy this week for the 71st Open D’Italia

Julien Quesne

The European Tour travels to Italy this week for the 71st Open D’Italia presented by DAMIANI. France’s Julien Quesne defends the title at Circolo Golf Torino in Turin.

Lowdown: The European Tour travels to Italy this week for the 71st Open D’Italia presented by DAMIANI. France’s Julien Quesne defends the title at Circolo Golf Torino in Turin.

This tournament provides the final chance for players to accrue points towards automatic qualification for Paul McGinley’s Ryder Cup team. Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher is currently in 11th place on the world points list and he can play himself into the side for Gleneagles if he wins, or finishes runner-up in this event.

It’s the 71st running of this historic tournament. It was first contested in 1925 when Francesco Pasquali took the title. Since then many famous players have triumphed in the event, they include Sir Henry Cotton, Peter Thomson, Tony Jacklin, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman and Sandy Lyle.

Last year Julien Quesne of France carded an excellent final nine holes of 31 to sneak home, one clear of England’s Steve Webster and David Higgins of Ireland.

The home nation will be well represented this week. Both Edoardo and Francesco Molinari will tee it up, so too Matteo Manassero and NH Collection Open champion Marco Crespi.

The weather forecast for the week is unsettled. There could be rain over the weekend for the players to contend with.

Venue: Circolo Golf Torino, Fiano, Torino, Italy Date: Aug 28 – 31 Course stats: par 72, 7,208 yards Purse: €1,500,000 Winner: €250,000 Defending Champion: Julien Quesne (-12)

TV Coverage: Thursday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am Friday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am Saturday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm Sunday 31 – Sky Sports 4 from 12pm

Player Watch: Rafa Cabrera-Bello – The Spaniard comes into this event under the radar, as he hasn’t played on Tour since the USPGA Championship where he stumbled to an 80 in the final round. But he’s been one of the most consistent performers on the 2014 European Tour, missing just two cuts.

Felipe Aguilar – The Chliean has been playing steadily in recent weeks and he’s already won once on Tour this year. He was tied fourth in this event last year.

Tommy Fleetwood – He played well last week in the Czech Republic, particularly the second round when he shot 65. He ended the tournament there in a tie for fifth and he’ll look to build on that this week.

Key hole: 17th. A long par four of 465 yards, turning from right to left. The tee shot must be accurate to allow a reasonable shot to the testing green that is set on two levels with a significant step between them. A stream runs on the left hand side of the green.

Fergus Bisset
Fergus Bisset

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?