Played amateur golf for Italy at boy, youth and senior level and one of his early professional highlights was finishing tied third alongside hero, Costantino Rocca, in the 1995 Italian Open. Prior to the 2005 season, two second place finishes were his best European Tour return before he made the breakthrough with his maiden victory in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. At the end of the 2004 season, he had given serious consideration to giving up the game before support and encouragement from his family and friends, including football legends Roberto Donadoni, Gianluca Vialli and Marco Simone, persuaded him to give it one more year. It proved the right decision. Only a small man but able to propel the golf ball prodigious distances. Won The European Tour Statistics Driving Distance category three years in a row from 1998 to 2000.