Peter Fowler is determined to go one step further than last year’s play-off defeat when he tees off at the Senior Italian Open presented by Villaverde Resort, from June 15-17.
The Australian was beaten by Clark Dennis in the sudden-death play-off at the 2017 Senior Italian Open on the shortened 18th hole after thunderstorms and severe rain had cut short the event to two days.
Dennis’ 15 foot birdie putt sealed the title ahead of the 2011 John Jacobs Trophy winner. However, Fowler knows his way around the picturesque Udine course having led the 2017 event with the American after the second round.
Back at the Villaverde Resort – a European Tour Destination – for the third time, the 59 year old is using his memories from previous years to tackle all the nuances of the course at Golf Club Udine.
“Each year you get to know the golf course a little bit more and the little subtleties around it and I’m really looking forward to the week,” he said.
“You need to carry the ball a long way because the ball isn’t running on the fairways. There is a lot of thick rough which probably wasn’t there the last couple of years, but I like the setup and I’m looking forward to it.
“The resort here at Villaverde is fabulous and the hospitality is magic and I’d recommend it to anyone. It makes for a good feeling and you always play better.”
Fowler has started the 2018 Staysure Tour well with a runner-up position in Sharjah at the beginning of the year, before at tied 33rd finish at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship ahead of a share of 25th in Denmark.
It is the Aussie’s tenth year playing on the over-50s circuit and he is aiming for his sixth top five finish on the Oder of Merit when MCB Tour Championship brings the 2018 Staysure Tour to a close in December.
“My game has been pretty good this year,” he said. “There are obviously little kinks we’ve got to work out on a regular basis. I’ve used the services of one of the golf pros here with the golf academy and that’s really helped the last couple of years I’ve visited.
“I play a lot in Australia and in the summer. I’m better when I play more. I enjoy the game when I’m playing well, I don’t enjoy it when I’m playing badly, so it’s a never-ending battle to try and get the body in shape for the rigours of the Tour. I look forward to each year and what better way than travelling around Europe playing golf.”
The chance to play more golf on the over-50s circuit has come around with the support of the title sponsor Staysure and all the work from Head of the Staysure Tour David MacLaren and his team. Fowler admits it is something which does not go unnoticed by the players.
“Keith Pelley has done a good job for the European Tour but more importantly David MacLaren has done a magical job for the Staysure Tour,” he said. “He’s spending a lot of time at each event talking to the promoters and the people who are involved in the tournaments, plus the players. I feel everyone is together alongside David putting a great Tour together.”
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