Costantino Rocca, Italy’s most successful golfer, has been elected the new President of the PGA of Italy after a unanimous vote.
The five-time European Tour champion replaces the outgoing President, Stefano Betti, after receiving all 322 votes at the PGA board members meeting, held recently in Milan.
Rocca, 55, was the sole candidate nominated to replace Betti, who has held the post since 1997.
He said: “It’s important to try to improve the level of Italian golfers. I want to try to give something back to the game of golf, because it has been very good to me down the years. We’re getting there, but more needs to be done. If you see the players coming through in America, the United Kingdom, or Australia, they seem to be more professional.
“We have some very good coaches in Italy, but we need more and we need better education to improve young golfers and make them work harder. We’re very lucky to have Matteo [Manassero] and the Molinari brothers, but we need to produce more of these type of players to take golf in the country up to the next level. Hopefully in my role as President I can help to achieve this.”
Rocca, who has captured two Senior Tour titles since turning 50, became the first Italian to represent Europe in The Ryder Cup in 1993; but he is perhaps best remembered for his duel with John Daly at The Open Championship in 1995, when he holed out from St Andrews’ ‘Valley of Sin’ to force a play-off, which the American subsequently won.
The pair were recently reunited at the Sicilian Open on The European Tour, playing the first two rounds together.