Amateur Lorenzo Scalise finished the 72˚ OPEN D’ITALIA presented by DAMIANI as the leading Italian after a brilliant closing 66, a performance made all the sweeter in front of so many friends and family at his home course.
The 20 year old from Milan outshone the more established stars to claim the honour of not only leading amateur but also leading Italian with a 16 under par score of 272.
Indeed, when all the scores are in it may well set a new record for the highest finish by an amateur in the Italian Open since 1972, currently tied 13th by Francesco Molinari in 2004.
“It was such an honour for me to play a European Tour event on my home course and to have such a strong finish is something special,” said Scalise, who birdied five holes in succession on the back nine from the 11th.
“The support was fantastic especially as I know so many people here, so many members who I have played with, so that was a great feeling.
“Local knowledge helped for sure as there are some lines off the tee you can be a bit more aggressive at times and I had a bit of advantage of that.”
Currently in his sophomore year at the University of Tennessee, Scalise credited his golfing education in America for helping improve his short game in particular.
He said: “The level of college golf is really high, not this high but it is certainly close, and playing over there on the tough curses really helped my short game and you could see that this week. My short game was really sharp and that was the key for me.”