DID YOU KNOW – ITALIAN OPEN
• Rikard Karlberg 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.
• Should Karlberg prevail for the second consecutive season be would become the seventh multiple winner since the event became part of the European Tour in 1972.
• The 2013 BMW PGA Champion, Matteo Manassero, will be making his eighth appearance in his national championship. He played in 2009 as an amateur where he tied for 25th. In 2010, on his professional debut in this event, 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 in 2012 he shared 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 his last nine appearances. 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 are: Sir Henry Cotton (1936), Peter Thomson (1959), Tony Jacklin (1973), Billy Casper (1975), Bernhard Langer (1983, 97), Sandy Lyle (1984, 92), Greg Norman (1988) and Graeme McDowell (2004).
• The Italian Open will be played for the 73rd time in 2016, 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, Open de France, KLM Open, Omega European Masters, PGA Championship and Italian Open.
• The prize fund of €3 million is the biggest in the history of the Italian Open.
• The 2016 edition of the Italian Open boasts one of its ever strongest fields. The tournament contains five Major Champions, two World Number Ones, four European Tour Number Ones and 87 European Tour winners.