• Gonzalo Fernendaz-Castaño  will be aiming to become the first player since The European Tour’s first year in 1972 to make a successful defence of the Italian Open.

• Gonzalo Fernendaz-Castaño has twice won Italy’s National Open. Should he prevail in 2013 he would become the first player to win the event three times since the tournament became part of The European Tour in 1972. In 2007 he won at Castello di Tolcinasco and last year at Royal Park I Roveri (Robert Trent Jones Course).

• BMW PGA Champion, Matteo Manassero, will be making his fifth appearance in his National Championship. He played in 2009 as an amateur where he tied for 25th.  In 2010, on his professional debut he made European Tour history by becoming the youngest professional to make a cut in a European Tour event, aged 17 years and 18 days. He eventually shared 29th.  In 2011 he occupied eighth and 12 months later produced his best finish in the event of tied third.

• Francesco Molinari was the last home winner of the championship in 2006 and will be looking to continue his outstanding form in the event. He has recorded four top eight finishes in the last six years. He was the winner in 2006, tied third in 2007, tied sixth in 2009 and tied eighth in 2011.

• The Italian Open  has a rich tradition of Major Champions who have added  their name to the trophy, which began in 1925. They include: Sir Henry Cotton (1936), Peter Thomson (1959), Tony Jacklin (1973), Billy Casper (1975), Bernhard Langer (1983, 97), Sandy Lyle (1984, 92) and Greg Norman (1988).

• On eight previous occasions since 1972 the Italian Open has required extra holes to find a champion. Italy’s national open stands third in the list of events with most play-offs. The Irish Open has the most with 11, followed by The Open Championship on nine.

• The Italian Open will be played for the 70th time in 2013, having started out in 1925. The event is one of only seven tournaments  to be played every year since The European Tour’s first year in 1972. The events are: The Open Championship, Open de España, Alstom Open de France, KLM Open, Omega European Masters , PGA Championship and Italian Open.

• Double US Open Champion, Retief Goosen will be making his first appearance in the Italian Open since 1999, when he tied for sixth. This will be just his third European Tour appearance of 2013 and first since the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

• With Lindt putting their name to the tournament, this will mark the first time in European Tour history that a chocolate company has been the title sponsor of a European Tour event.




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