Thursday, 28 November 2013
Marco Crespi  (Getty Images)
Marco Crespi (Getty Images)

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While the Challenge Tour is full of young, confident hotshots chomping at the bit to take on the world, the rise of the unassuming and humble Italian Marco Crespi to The European Tour has been a little more understated.

Just two weeks ago, and at the age of 35, the Milan native earned his place on The European Tour for the first time by claiming the third card at the Qualifying School Final Stage at PGA Catalunya Resort.

A little over a week later and Crespi was celebrating a fine start to his maiden season, securing a tie for fourth place at the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni. However, the story of his ascent to European golf’s top tier has been less fast paced, and is one of both endurance and perseverance.

When the Milan native claimed his maiden Challenge Tour victory at the Telenet Trophy back in 2012, he exuded a little more emotion than is usually on display from the majority of victors on the developmental tour.

Close to tears, maybe it was the moment Crespi finally believed he had what it takes to rise to the top of the European game. 

“I worked hard for this win,” he said after the victory in Belgium. “I tried and I tried for many years and now it has finally come. My short game has improved recently but I think it was my mentality which has changed the most.”

He certainly has put in the time, having spent several years on the satellite Alps Tour before making his mark on the Challenge Tour in 2012 with his win in Belgium, which came on the back of a tournament invite.

There is no doubt that victory was a big turning point in his career and he claimed his second title in 2013 at the Mugello Tuscany Open before a commanding performance at the Qualifying School Final Stage later in the year earned him a maiden European Tour berth.

After ten previous unsuccessful attempts to make it through the gruelling six round event in northern Spain, his relief and delight was palpable when he finally secured European Tour Membership.

“Finally!” he said straight after confirming his presence on The 2014 Race to Dubai. “It’s my eleventh year trying to go through Q-School, so it’s really a great feeling.

“I think my game has improved a lot every year so I think I now have the experience to do something good on The European Tour. Let’s see what happens though.”

Just a week later, Crespi was wowing the crowds at Glendower Golf Club in Ekurhuleni, outside Johannesburg, where he led the field after two days.

Not only that, but he was gaining a fan base in the Sky Sports commentary box for the kind of honesty and quiet charm for which he has become known in the circles of Europe’s developmental tours.

No surprise to learn, then, that he is a family man who, when asked what his hobbies are, simply cites his wife and young baby daughter as the most prominent aspects of his life outside the game of golf.

“I love to spend time with them,” he said. “I don’t think I want my daughter to take golf seriously when she grows up. Just a hobby would be fine but if she really wanted to become a golfer I would be fine with that too.”

As easy going as ever, but behind that exterior is a burning desire to make it on The European Tour and, judging by the start he has made to his long-awaited first season as a European Tour Member, Crespi is ready to make it worth the wait.


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