Andrea Pavan will hope that home comforts can help finish an impressive rookie campaign with a flourish when he returns to the course where he learned the game for this week’s Roma Golf Open.
The 22 year old Italian, who turned professional last December, is currently eighth in the European Challenge Tour Rankings after capturing his maiden title in the Norwegian Challenge and is hoping to end the year in the top ten.
Pavan grew up playing at this week’s host venue, Olgiata Golf Club, on the outskirts of Rome, and his local knowledge could prove vital in the penultimate event of the Challenge Tour season.
Having begun 2011 relying on sponsors’ invites, Pavan has firmly established himself on the Challenge Tour, first finishing runner-up in the Kärnten Golf Open presented by Mazda after taking a five shot lead into the final round, then claiming his first victory in Norway in August.
That win came courtesy of a play-off when he defeated Austrian Florian Praegant at the third extra hole and now Pavan heads into a double-header in his home country hoping to put the seal on a superb debut season, with the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final in Puglia rounding off the year early next month.
Pavan knows two good performances will confirm his place in the top ten of the Challenge Tour Rankings, securing a better card for The 2012 European Tour where he will join established compatriots Edoardo and Francesco Molinari, Matteo Manassero and the runner-up in last week’s Bankia Madrid Masters, Lorenzo Gagli.
There is a strong Italian contingent aside from Pavan in the Roma Golf Open, with 12th-placed Federico Colombo also looking to force his way into the top ten in the Challenge Tour Rankings.
Alessandro Tadini, currently in 19th position in the Rankings, will hope to boost his chances of a return to The European Tour, while Andrea Perrino, (72nd), Andrea Maestroni (81st) and Matteo Delpodio (85th) will all need a strong performance if they are to force their way into the top 45 positions and qualify for the season ending Apulia San Domenico Grand Final.