Lee Janzen, the reigning US Open champion, heads a strong field for the Fiat and Fila Italian Open at CircoloGolf, Turin, this week.
The 34-year-old from Orlando, who has won eight times on the US Tour - including Open title in 1993 and 1998 - makes the trip across the Atlantic to challenge a cluster of European Tour winners in the line-up at a new venue for the long-established tournament.
Janzen has twice got the better of compatriot, Payne Stewart, to lift the US Open Championship. In 1993 at Baltusrol he shot four rounds in the sixties to equal the record low aggregate of 272. Five years later at Olympic Club, San Francisco, Janzen again overhauled Stewart when he came from seven strokes behind with 15 holes to play to shoot a 68 and secure a one-stroke victory.
Janzen, a “wild card' pick by Tom Kite for the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama, is one of only four players in the high class field who can lay claim to winning more than one major title.
He will renew his rivalry with the latest addition to that club, José Maria Olazábal, who captured his second Green Jacket in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National. In fact, the pair have already crossed swords in the last Ryder Cup, Janzen winning an epic singles clash on the 18th green.
Other winners of multiple majors in the Fiat and Fila-sponsored tournament are the mercurial Seve Ballesteros, and Bernhard Langer, who can boast a total haul of seven majors between them.
The first visit to CircoloGolf sees Patrik Sjöland defend the title he won over a shortened 54-holes at Castelconturbia twelve months ago. That maiden victory by the Swede paved the way for a brilliant season for Sjöland in which he finished fifth in the Volvo Order of Merit.
Sjöland subsequently qualified for the World Golf Championships inaugural event, the Andersen Consulting Match Play at La Costa Resort and Spa, where he performed with distinction.
The CircoloGolf Torino, established in 1924, is a club with old traditions. On an evening in 1920, a group of eleven friends, passionate about golf, decided to form the club. Led by Ado Kind, the club’s first president, they formed the Sports Association which, four years later, would become the Circolo Golf Torino.
The club has changed location three times: from the heath land of the Canavese, located between San Maurizio and Lombardia, to the interior of the Mirafiori Hippodrome, to the magical and immense Mandria Park. It was here, that the present day Circolo Golf Torino was formed.
In 1956, the Englishman John Morrison designed the first part of the “Blu” course, known as the traditional championship course: 18 championship holes and a further nine hole course. Eighteen years later, in 1974, John Harris completed the present day 36 hole course, consisting of the “Blu” and the “Giallo” courses.