Rock Steady: 2011 review

4/25/2012 3:00:15 PM
Robert Rock captured his maiden European Tour title at last year's Italian Open.  (EuropeanTour)
Robert Rock captured his maiden European Tour title at last year's Italian Open. (EuropeanTour)

Robert Rock won the 2011 Italian Open by one shot from compatriot Gary Boyd and Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen. Here, in an excerpt from The European Tour Yearbook 2012, we recap how the Englishman captured his maiden European Tour title in his 209th event.

He might well have a surname which is manna from heaven for sub editors in newspapers or magazines - the only problem for Robert Rock was the fact that in 208 prior appearances on The European Tour he had been unable to produce the victory which would allow the creative juices of the page makers to flow.
He had endured three runners-up finishes in 2009, including in this very tournament at Royal Park I Roveri, but all that was forgotten with a bold display on an enthralling afternoon which saw the Englishman finally emerge with his hands on the trophy. A closing 67 gave him a wire-to-wire victory but it was far from straightforward on a day when the Turin golf course offered up plenty of birdie opportunities.

One man who needed no second invitation to take advantage of the chances was young Dane Thorbjørn Olesen who started his final round a full two hours before Rock but who set the clubhouse target of 20 under par 268 with a stunning ten under par 62 that included five birdies and an eagle in a remarkable outward half of 29.

It was an overall score matched by England’s Gary Boyd, leaving Rock knowing what he had to do to win. One ahead with two to play, Rock looked in trouble after a poor drive on the 17th but a great escape saw him save par and another regulation figure at the 18th was sufficient for victory.

To order your copy of The European Tour Yearbook 2012, a 240-page, full colour hardback Official Publication with iconic pictures by Getty Images and essays from some of the game's top writers that takes you every step of the way through 52 tournaments and 29 destinations on The 2011 Race to Dubai, click here.