Golf: Italian Open
Venue: Olgiata Golf Club, Rome.
Dates: Thursday 10th – Sunday 13th October 2019
Having seen its status on the European Tour elevated in 2019, the Italian Open has become one of the flagship events as part of the Rolex Series. With $7 million dollars on the line, there is plenty to play for and the strength of the field is represented within that. Ryder Cup heroes Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari and Paul Casey join the likes of Open winner Shane Lowry and former Masters champion Danny Willett in an extremely strong field in Rome. The event was first established in 1925 and is one of the most prestigious on the European Tour and the standard of golf should be high once more in 2019.
All of the biggest hitters on the European Tour are present in Rome meaning it should be a hotly contested week of golf:-
Englishman Paul Casey finally got back into the winners enclosure at the European Open last month and his form has been consistent all year – he looks the man to beat.
Another Englishman that will be chasing glory is Justin Rose who hasn’t been in his best form in 2019 but if he pieces his best golf together, he is sure to be a contender in Rome.
Home favourite Francesco Molinari has won the event on two previous occasions and despite not being in the best of form this season, could be a front runner this week.
Former Masters Champion Danny Willett has been a man reborn in 2019, epitomised by his romp to victory at the BMW Championship at Wentworth and he looks in good nick here.
Consistent Austrian Matthias Schwab finished second at the European Open last month and despite not showing much form since, he should enjoy the course in Rome.
1st Round Leader
Producing the goods over 72 holes is often the most difficult thing for any golfer to do therefore here are our first round leader picks:-
Englishman Matt Wallace has been a consistent performer on the European Tour this year and often gets off to a flyer in the big events.
Sheffield born Matthew Fitzpatrick has been in fine form this season and he is sitting pretty in 6th place in the European Tour rankings and he’ll be eying up a Ryder Cup spot next season.
Belgian Thomas Pieters has enjoyed 4 top 20 finishes from his last 5 starts and he has been in fine form all season. With the course in Rome playing short, he could get off to a flying start here.
Top Ten Finish
With so many quality players assembled here in Rome, getting into the winning enclosure could be tough but there are plenty of candidates to finish in the top 10 come Sunday:-
2019 Open champion Shane Lowry has enjoyed a stellar year and with his second place standing on the European Tour, he will be keen to push for top spot here.
Talismanic Englishman Ian Poulter continues to perform on both the PGA and European Tours and he will be keen to push for the top 10 here against his fellow Ryder Cup players.
Rory Sabbatini has been a man reborn in 2019 since his move to Slovakian citizenship and he will be keen to regain his summer form that saw him register three top 10 finishes.
BetXChange Best Bets:
Outright Winner: Paul Casey – 10.00
1st Round Leader: Matt Wallace – 40.00
Top Five Finish: Ian Poulter- 3.50