Fernandez-CastaƱo aiming to serve up a slice of history

9/18/2013 4:28:00 PM
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano  (Getty Images)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Getty Images)
Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño is hoping to become the first player to win the 70° Open d’Italia Lindt three times at Golf Club Torino this week.

Fernandez-Castaño finished two shots clear of Garth Mulroy at nearby Royal Park I Roveri 12 months ago, having also won at Castello di Tolcinasco in 2007.

“It is a very special feeling,” said the 32 year old. “This is probably the week I was looking forward to the most this year. 

“It is always nice to defend, but especially here in Italy where I have won twice and especially Turin where I received so much support from the Italian people. I had heard a lot of great things about Circolo Golf Torino from Francesco and Edoardo [Molinari] and I have to say the course is fantastic. I probably shouldn’t say this because I won next door, but this is the best I have played in the country.

“You have to hit fairways to have any chance because the rough is up and punishing. It is not a long hitter’s course but you need to hit fairways and hole putts which is possible because the greens are very good. It should suit Molinari and Manassero and hopefully some of the Spanish guys – why not me? 

“I don’t know if I will win it three times but I just love the tournament. I think the Spanish and Italians are very similar people so it is great to be here. I would like to win for the third time and maybe that would make me the Prince of Italy!”

In a steady rather than spectacular campaign Fernandez-Castaño has had five top-ten finishes to climb to 30th in The Race to Dubai.

And the six-time European Tour winner believes his game is not far away from allowing him to be in the mix come Sunday afternoon.

“The game has not been great lately but I think it is getting there because I have started to strike the ball pretty well,” he added. “It feels like I am getting there and if the putts start to drop this week then I could be in contention on Sunday.”

As part of an unusual tournament preparation, Fernandez-Castaño learned how to make some of sponsor Lindt’s chocolate. “That was very cool,” he added.

“I think we are all going to go home next week with a few extra kilos but I also have to say it is very nice to get something back from a company that I have invested a lot of money in over the years! I have bought a lot of Lindt chocolate so it is nice to get something back.

“It is great to have a company like that into golf and I hope they get a lot out of this week and can continue to sponsor the Italian Open and golf in general.”