Proved that perseverance can pay off when he gained his European Tour card for the first time on his 11th attempt at the Qualifying School in 2013, and continued that impressive form into the opening week of his rookie season to share the lead after 54 holes in the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni, eventually finishing tied fourth. Missed out on graduating from the Challenge Tour in 2012 and 2013 despite winning in each season, the Telenet Trophy and the Mugello Tuscany Open respectively. Started playing seriously aged 17 and turned professional in 2002. Spent several seasons bouncing back and forth between the satellite Alps Tour and the Challenge Tour before his breakthrough victory in Belgium in 2012 proved the starting point for a late rise to the top of European golf at the age of 35. His father was a caddie at his home course in Monza, outside Milan, while his brother is a golf teacher.