Ian Poulter won his maiden European Tour title in Sardinia by a single stroke in 2000. The then-24 year old produced a sterling display, shooting four rounds in the 60s to pip Gordon Brand Jnr to the prize. Poulter has since added a further 11 titles to his trophy cabinet, including a second at the Italian Open in 2002.
Grégory Havret’s European Tour breakthrough came at the Italian Open, in his first full season on the Tour. He produced a sublime performance, recording four rounds in the 60s to finish on 20 under par and secure victory by one shot from Bradley Dredge. The 39 year has since recorded two more wins, both of which came in Scotland – at the 2007 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and the 2008 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
Francesco Molinari became only the third home winner since the event joined the European Tour when he secured an emotional triumph at Golf Club Milano. The then-23 year old secured his maiden professional title by four shots from the Scandinavian duo of Anders Hansen and Jarmo Sandelin, so ending a 26-year wait for a home winner of the event.
Hennie Otto is now a two-time Italian Open champion, having regained the trophy in 2014 after his first win in 2008. That year, he set a tournament record for the lowest score in relation to par when he finished on 25 under par. He would go on to finish a career-high 37th in the Race to Dubai.
Robert Rock was another to secure his first European Tour title on Italian soil, recording just two bogeys on the front nine all week to win by one shot from Gary Boyd and the fast-finishing Thorbjørn Olesen, who closed with a stunning round of 62. It was Rock’s 209th appearance on the European Tour, and Rock finally got over the line in style with a wire-to-wire win.