Italian Open
Golf Club Milano, Parco Reale di Monza, Italy 12 Oct 2017 - 15 Oct 2017
Monday, 16 October 2017
Tyrrell Hatton - poses for the cameras with the Italian Open trophy and the stewards   (Getty Images)
Tyrrell Hatton - poses for the cameras with the Italian Open trophy and the stewards (Getty Images)

With the 2017 Italian Open now on the Rolex Series roster everything pointed to it being a memorable week in northern Italy, and that’s exactly how it turned out...

Great weather, a fine field, an entertaining golf course, passionate fans and a worthy winner all combined to make it an occasion worthy of its premium status on the Race to DubaI – let’s recap last week’s event and what made it so special.

A Wonderful Winner

In Tyrrell Hatton, the Italian Open has a new champion who is making waves in the game of golf, and a player who is in the form of his life. The 26 year old arrived at Golf Club Milano on the back of successfully defending his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship title with a record-breaking victory at St Andrews, and after rounds of 69, 64 and 65 headed into the final day in Italy two shots off the pace. 

A dramatic final day in Milan saw birdies and eagles flying in everywhere, and Hatton soon found himself up against it after a slow start which saw the Englishman make just a single birdie in his first 11 holes. Some players might have panicked or admitted defeat, but not Hatton, who reeled off four straight birdies from the 12th to 15th holes to get back in the mix. 

Stepping onto the final tee, Hatton knew a safe par would get him into a three man playoff, but such is his confidence and form he was thinking about only one thing – making birdie and getting his hands on another trophy. A fine approach shot to the 18th hole left Hatton with a 15 foot putt for the win, and he took his chance to complete a remarkable back nine performance, one which had the European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn taking notice on social media.

Passionate Fans

If the 2017 Italian Open is anything to go by then golf in Italy is really catching on. Big galleries walked the fairways and contours of Golf Club Milano every day as we witnessed some of the most passionate support at a European Tour event all season. Home favourite and 2016 champion Francesco Molinari in particular received some vociferous support from the Italian galleries, but he was far from being the only one to receive such backing last week, with many of the players commenting on how good the atmosphere was throughout the week. To the record 73,000 fans who turned out for the tournament days to show their support, grazie.

Great Weather

October in northern Italy can be a cold affair, but last week we got lucky. Although it was chilly in the mornings, by the time  the afternoon came around the sun was out shining down on Parco di Monza from a cloudless sky. It was a week for tee shirts, sunglasses and the famous Italian gelato. Some would say it was perfect golf weather, with the very low-scoring reflecting that.

A strong Field

Six of the world’s top 20 players played last week, and it didn’t go unnoticed among the locals who seemed to cherish the chance to see the likes of Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm and Alex Noren in action. All three are ranked in the world’s top 15, and the two Spaniards in particular were star attractions all week, especially over the first two days, with the compatriots playing alongside one another.

The Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood was also in town, and the popular Englishman didn’t disappoint, firing a Moving Day 63 and spending at least 15 minutes after each of his rounds signing autographs and posing for pictures. Molinari meanwhile, who is always a star in that part of the world, put up a valiant defence of the title he won so dramatically a year ago, and in Hatton, we saw yet more evidence of just how far he is capable of going in the game. 

An Interesting Layout

Golf Club Milano presented a unique challenge to the players last week with its narrow fairways and small, challenging greens. The tree-lined course, which is adjacent to the famous Monza racetrack, had the players thinking and having to hit a variety of shots, especially on the fourth and eighth holes, which both proved to be challenging from the tee, with the fourth in particular seeing the players having to fire their tee shot through one of the narrowest gaps you’ll see on the European Tour all season.

It also presented the players with plenty of birdie chances, which made for an entertaining watch, especially on Sunday when a flurry of red numbers were appearing on the leaderboard from all over the course. 

So there you have it, just some of the reasons why the 2017 Italian Open will go down as one of the best in recent times. We didn’t even have space to mention the amazing food on offer throughout the week in the clubhouse that had the players getting very excited…

Until next year, Italian Open…

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Tournament Leaderboard

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

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