The 34 year old has missed just three cuts in his last 14 appearances on the Challenge Tour but missed out on graduating to The European Tour in 2012 despite a maiden win at the Telenet Trophy last May.Included in that run were a tied third finish at the Challenge Provincia di Varese and top 20 finishes at the Double Tree by Hilton Acaya Open and the Grand Final, all three of which were in Italy.
Crespi will arrive at Padova, near Venice, this week looking to capitalise on that impressive form in his home country, having finished tied 20th at the Challenge de Madrid last week.
“I’ve been playing very well for a while now, and I always seem to do well in Italian events,” said Crespi. “Hopefully I can continue that this week.
“Last week in Madrid I played very nicely and putted extremely well, but the weather was bad at the weekend and I didn’t cope as well as others.
“The course here at Golf Club della Montecchia is totally different (from last week) so you have to adapt your game. It’s important to be in the fairway, and the greens are very soft, small and flat. If you are accurate into the greens, you will never have very long putts for birdie, so I’m sure the scoring will be very low.
“I am feeling very refreshed and ready for a good season. I had a good winter practising and spending time with my family - we had a daughter at the beginning of December.”Another Italian hoping to make an impression will be Andrea Pavan, whose last Challenge Tour appearance in Italy was a triumphant one at the 2012 Grand Final, where he defeated Englishman Tommy Fleetwood in a dramatic finale.
That victory meant he finished second in the Challenge Tour Rankings, earning a rookie season on The European Tour.The Roman struggled in his first year on the top tier, however, and returns to the Challenge Tour this season hoping to bounce back immediately.
Pavan has had a solid start to 2013, making three cuts in three appearances, but has not yet managed a top 20 finish and will be hoping home comforts can spur him to a third Challenge Tour title this week.It is a strong field which arrives at Golf Club della Montecchia, headed by the wire-to-wire winner of last week’s Challenge de Madrid, François Calmels.
One player who is on impressive form on the Challenge Tour but has not yet registered a win this season is Calmels’ compatriot Edouard Dubois.
The 24 year old has recorded two consecutive top five finishes at the Barclays Kenya Open (tied fifth) and the Challenge de Madrid (tied fourth) and is searching for a third Challenge Tour victory in the space of two years.Also in the field are experienced campaigners Oliver Wilson, who represented Europe in The 2008 Ryder Cup, three-time European Tour winner Nick Dougherty and two-time winners on the top tier Bradley Dredge of Wales and Alastair Forsyth of Scotland.