Proved that perseverance can pay off when, at the age of 35 years and 152 days, became the oldest rookie to win in European Tour history by capturing the NH Collection Open. Gained his European Tour card for the first time on his 11th attempt at the Qualifying School in 2013, and his victory at La Reserva de Sotogrande Club de Golf was the first win by a Qualfying School graduate the year after graduation since Branden Grace in 2012. Missed out on promotion 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.