Tuesday, 12 June 2018
Golf Club Udine  (Getty Images)
Golf Club Udine (Getty Images)

Ahead of this week’s Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort, here are five key facts before the Staysure Tour action gets under way in Italy.

Rain stops play

Last year’s Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort was cut short due to a flooded course at Golf Club Udine.

Severe rain and the threat of thunderstorms on an already soaked course gave the tournament staff no option but to bring a close to play on Sunday morning.

However, the 18th was converted into a 162-yard par three hole where a play-off was played to decide the victor.

Dennis’ date with destiny

Clark Dennis claimed his first Staysure Tour title only seven months after gaining his Tour card by winning the Qualifying School.

After rain stopped play on Sunday with Dennis and Australian Peter Fowler tied for the lead on the fourth fairway, the duo headed to the 18th for the play-off hole.

Dennis holed his 15-foot birdie putt on the re-designed par three 18th to seal victory as Fowler narrowly missed with his attempt.

It was Dennis’ maiden victory on a run which helped him secure the John Jacobs Trophy and top the Order of Merit.

Third time at Udine

The 2018 Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort will be held for the third consecutive year at Golf Club Udine in north east Italy.

Since 2016 the Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort has been part of the Staysure Tour International Schedule and the title has been contested at Udine for the last two years.

The golf club sits in the heart of the mountains with a picturesque back-drop of The Alps surrounding the 18 holes.

The Villaverde Resort at Golf Club Udine also became a European Tour Destination earlier this year, and is one of four European Tour Destinations which will host the Staysure Tour this year.

Fowler to fight again

Peter Fowler’s runner-up berth last year was part of his incredible run of five top-five finishes in six events, which helped him to third place on the Order of Merit.

The Australian claimed a share of second at the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq and will be one of the favourites to go one better than last year’s runners up position.

Magic eight

The Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort will take place for an eighth time this week, and to this day there have been no two-time winners of the event.

Since its first appearance on the over-50s circuit in 2004, there has been seven different winners; 2004 Terry Gale, 2005 Gery Watine, 2006 Sam Torrance, 2007 Simon Owen, 2008 Peter Mitchell, 2016 Stephen Dodd, and 2017 Dennis.

Before Welshman Dodd won two years ago, the tournament had not been played in mainland Italy since Mitchell’s win at Lake Garda in 2008. 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1DENNIS, ClarkUSA18-13
2GOMEZ, RafaelARG18-13
3PRICE, PhillipWAL18-12
4WILLIAMS, ChrisRSA18-11
5ATLEVI, Magnus PSWE18-10
T6LANE, BarryENG18-9

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