• Molinari the man as Italian Open awaits

    Francesco Molinari

    Home hero Francesco Molinari will have a fellow Open Championship and Rolex Series winner for company when the Italian Open gets under way on Thursday.

    Reigning Race to Dubai champion Molinari famously lifted the Claret Jug in 2018 and he will get his bid for a third win in his home open going alongside Shane Lowry – the man who replaced him as Champion Golfer of the Year in July.

    England’s Matt Wallace is looking for a first Rolex Series win and he completes the threeball which will go off the tenth at 08:30am.

    Justin Rose

    Danny Willett and Justin Rose each have two Rolex Series wins to their name and they will tee off the first in search of a hat-trick at 13:00pm in the company of local favourite Andrea Pavan, who already has a win this season at the BMW International Open.

    Matthew Fitzpatrick was defeated by Pavan in a playoff in Germany and he will be hoping to get over the line after finishing three times as runner-up this season.

    Ian Poulter won his second Italian Open title the last time the event was held at Olgiata Golf Club in 2002 and he and Fitzpatrick tees off the tenth at 08:20am alongside two-time Major champion Martin Kaymer.

    Alex Noren and Bernd Wiesbgerger have three Rolex Series wins between them and they tee off the first at 12:50pm in the company of recent Porsche European Open winner Paul Casey.

    Winner from 2017 Tyrrell Hatton goes off the first ten minutes earlier alongside local favourite Guido Migliozzi and South African Erik van Rooyen.

    Van Rooyen is one of 14 South Africans in the field including Valderrama winner Christiaan Bezuidenhout, a previous Rolex Series event winner in Brandon Stone and Justin Harding, who alongside Van Rooyen and Bezuidenhout sits inside the top 20 in the Race to Dubai.

    For a full list of tee times, click here.


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