Tuesday, 10 October 2017
Italian Open  (European Tour)
Italian Open (European Tour)
With seven of the top ten in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex set to star in the fifth Rolex Series event of the season at the Italian Open this week, it was inevitable that the draw for rounds one and two would throw up some fascinating threeballs...

All eyes will be on the trio of Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood when the afternoon marquee group get their first rounds started at 13:15 local time on Thursday.

Garcia, who is second in the Race to Dubai Presented by Rolex rankings, will be looking to close the gap on playing partner and Race to Dubai leader Fleetwood this week, in what will be his first professional appearance in Italy.

The Masters Champion’s compatriot Rahm will also have his eyes on winning the Race to Dubai crown in his debut season on the European Tour, and adding to his Irish Open victory from July.

Meanwhile Fleetwood, who has shown some remarkable form this season, will be playing in just his second event as a new dad, after his partner Clare gave birth to their son, Franklin, before last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where the Englishman went on to card a new course record at Carnoustie, thanks to a sublime second round 63.

Expect to see plenty of passionate home support when defending champion and home hero Francesco Molinari gets the defence of his title he won so impressively 12 months ago, underway at 08:50, alongside Alex Noren and Danny Willett.


 

With Golf Club Milano a narrow layout that favours the straighter hitters from the tee, Molinari, who is regarded as one of the most accurate drivers on the European Tour, has every chance of putting up a strong defence, while Sweden’s Noren will be making his first start in Italy since 2012.

Ten minutes before the morning marquee group tee off, another home favourite, Matteo Manassero, will be in action alongside Tyrrell Hatton and Bernd Wiesberger.

Manassero, who made his professional debut in this event in 2010 aged just 17 years and 17 days, will be looking to impress his many fans in this part of the world, while Hatton heads to Monza full of confidence on the back of becoming the first man to successfully defend the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title last week. 


 

Two other players who will arrive in northern Italy full of confidence are Matt Fitzpatrick and Martin Kaymer, who will tee it up alongside Italy’s Edoardo Molinari at 13:05.

Fitzpatrick and Kaymer, who both played here last season ahead of appearing in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, boast strong records at Golf Club Milano, with the German a cumulative 61 under par from his four visits to this tournament, and Sheffield native Fitzpatrick 31 under par from only two starts at the Italian Open.

To see who the likes of Shane Lowry, Lee Westwood and Thorbjorn Olesen are playing with, and to view the full draw, click here.

A Rolex Series Event

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HATTON, TyrrellENG18-21
T2FISHER, RossENG18-20
T2APHIBARNRAT, KiradechTHA18-20
4WALLACE, MattENG18-19
5FRASER, MarcusAUS18-18
T6HORSEY, DavidENG18-17

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