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Italian Challenge Open: Tournament Guide

Italian Challenge Open: Tournament Guide

The Road to Mallorca heads to Italy for the Italian Challenge Open at Golf Nazionale. Here’s everything you need to know for the week ahead.

Golf Nazionale

Golf Nazionale

Golf Nazionale, formerly known as Golf Club Le Querce, is home to the Italian Golf Federation. It is recognised as one of the best golf courses in continental Europe and one of the most challenging courses in Italy, which is set in the beautiful rolling hills approximately 40 kilometres from Rome.

Golf Nazionale was designed by Jim Fazio, with the help of the Italian architect David Mezzacane and opened in 1990. In 1991 the course hosted the World Cup of Golf which saw Swedish duo Anders Forsbrand and Per-Ulrik Johansson claim victory by one stroke over Welsh pair Ian Woosnam and Phillip Price.

The course provides a true test for the highest calibre of golfer due to the deep rough, undulated greens, water features and numerous strategically placed bunkers. Players must also consider the sharp elevation changes which bring about some spectacular views over the Lazio countryside.

Molinari magic

E Molinari Italian

2023 European Ryder Cup Vice Captain Edoardo Molinari secured his third Challenge Tour title of the 2009 season at the Italian Challenge, after winning the Piemonte Open and Kazakhstan Open earlier in the year. The Italian went on to top the Challenge Tour Rankings in 2009 with a then-record season total of €242,979 earnings for the year.

The Italian went on to play in the 2010 victorious Ryder Cup team, alongside his younger brother Francesco at The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales and capture three DP World Tour titles. Henrik Stenson recently named Molinari as his second Vice Captain for the 2023 Ryder Cup which will be played at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome.

Gouveia’s double

Ricardo Gouveia trophy

The Italian Challenge has provided the Challenge Tour with memorable moments throughout the years and in 2021 Ricardo Gouveia became the first man to win the event twice. The Portuguese posted a seven under par final round of 64 to triumph at Margara Golf Club, seven years on from winning the 2014 edition at Olgiata Golf Club in just his seventh event as a professional.

Irrigation system

Golf Nazionale has invested in a superb new irrigation system which optimises the use of water across the golf course. The increase in temperatures and lack of rainfall means that energy bills are currently one of the main costs of golf courses, so having an efficient pumping system is essential.

Alessandro Rogato, President of Golf Nazionale, can control over 1000 water sprinklers from his mobile phone to enable irrigation in a more efficient and sustainable way. Rogato can water certain areas of tees, fairways, and greens, while allowing the rough to naturalize without irrigation.

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