(Reuters) - England's Steve Webster hopes tips from Seve Ballesteros will help him claim back-to-back Telecom Italian Open titles.
Webster took ten years to realise the potential he showed when winning the 1995 silver medal as best amateur in The Open Championship and then The European Tour Qualifying School of that year.
His victory last year at Castello di Tolcinasco Golf & Country Club near Milan finally earned him a European Tour title and the 31 year old is now keen to double up on his 'Italian job'.
Five times Major Champion Ballesteros, despite suffering an ailing swing himself, could provide Webster's key to winning this week, the Englishman said on Wednesday.
"I've had a load of practice rounds with Seve since meeting him when we played together in South Africa a few years ago and I practised with him last week before the Spanish Open and picked his brains," said Webster, 54th on The European Tour Order of Merit.
"He has just given me a bit of confidence with my short game. He showed me a few techniques which will help because he is probably still one of the best in the world when it comes to the short game.
"He told me last week about one of his Open wins when he was in 15 bunkers and got up and down out of 14 of them."
Ballesteros also gave Webster a sharp reminder.
"He told me I should be doing a lot better in my career, which I totally agree with."
Webster's chief rival could be the highest-ranked player in the tournament, Argentina's Angel Cabrera, the World Number 25.
Cabrera is tuning up before defending his BMW Championship title this month at Wentworth Club, England. The field also contains European Ryder Cup Captain Ian Woosnam and Sam Torrance twice an Italian Open winner.