The towering achievements of Edoardo Molinari will loom large over this week’s Roma Golf Open 2010 presented by REZZA, providing inspiration to all those hoping to graduate to The European Tour.
Only three events remain of the 2010 Challenge Tour season and there is much at stake this week in the Italian capital, as players vie for a place in the top 20 of the Rankings to earn a place on the 2011 Race to Dubai.
Those who are fortunate enough to make the grade at the end of the season will face a big step up as they rub shoulders with the game’s elite, but Molinari is proof of what can be achieved.
His victory in the Roma Golf Open last year was his third victory of Challenge Tour season, and ensured he finished top of the Rankings with record earnings.
The fact that he has gone on to win the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in tandem with his brother, Francesco, captured two European Tour titles and progressed from Challenge Tour graduate to one of Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes at The Celtic Manor Resort a fortnight ago has not been lost on the next generation of future champions.
His fellow Italians are particularly proud of what he has achieved.
“If Edoardo can do that then it gives us all belief that if we work hard and think positive we can achieve what he has,” said Federico Colombo. “A player like Edoardo is an inspiration to us all, and we are all trying to follow what he has done.
“To go from the Challenge Tour last year, to winning twice on The European Tour and then on the winning Ryder Cup team was just fantastic. He is proof of what we can all do. He has enjoyed unbelievable success, and we are all working for that.”
Colombo is one of those players battling for a top 20 place, and he knows how important these next three tournaments are if he is to try to climb from his current position of 24th.
“The next few weeks are massive for us,” he admitted. “It is really important to stay patient. The last week in San Domenico could be huge, as a top five could see you leap up the Rankings. It is tough as all the top 30 are playing so well at the moment, but it is important not to think about the Rankings and just try to play the course.”
Fellow Italian Alessadnro Tadini is in a similar position just outside the top 20, and hopes his experience of playing on The European Tour for five years from 2004 will stand him in good stead as the race to the line continues.
Tadini was competing on The European Tour last year so did not play at Olgiata Golf Club, but remembers it from 2003 when the club hosted the Italian Open and believes the tight, tree-lined fairways will favour his game.
He said: “I think the course will be a lot different to some of the courses we play on the Challenge Tour, and the harder the better for me. As I have had a lot of experience on The European Tour, tight courses with thick rough and fast greens suit me, and I think that is what we will get at Olgiata.
“These are three big weeks and I need to play well in all three to move up in on the Rankings. Just one shot can be so important, so I need to be focused all the time and concentrate on the job in hand. The Grand Final is going to be another big week for us, and it’s great to be in Italy. But this week it is Rome, on a fantastic course in the best city in the world.”
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