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Filippo Celli eager to make the most of opportunity in Wales

Filippo Celli eager to make the most of opportunity in Wales

Open Championship Silver Medallist Filippo Celli insists he wants to make the best of all the opportunities coming to him as an amateur before entering the paid ranks as he prepares to make just his third DP World Tour appearance at the 2022 Cazoo Open supported by Gareth Bale.

Filippo Celli

The Italian finished five under at St Andrews last month as he took Low Amateur honours, continuing a fine 2022 that has also seen him win the European Amateur Championship.

After making his DP World Tour debut at the 2021 DS Automobiles Italian Open at Marco Simone, he now experiences another Ryder Cup venue in The Celtic Manor Resort, but the 21-year-old will not be rushing into the professional game.

"I will stay amateur until the end of the year and I will enjoy this opportunity," he said. "Thank you to the DP World Tour for making this happen and giving me the opportunity to play in this amazing tournament. I'll try my best and we'll see at the end of the year.

"It's the first time that I've played here and I like it so much. It's parkland but with a lot of wind. I think it's a really tough course and you have to strike the ball really well."

The 150th Open Championship at the Home of Golf was truly a spectacle, as Cameron Smith lifted the Claret Jug in front of huge crowds.

And while Celli admits the change in his life has been significant, he is welcoming the attention.

"I'll remember it for a lifetime, it's unforgettable, the atmosphere in St Andrews and at the tournament," he said.

"A lot of people have called me for interviews but it's fine, it's part of the process so I'm happy to do that."

Countryman Edoardo Molinari is a man very much used to the spotlight, with three DP World Tour titles and a winning Ryder Cup appearance at this very venue in 2010.

The attention will be on him even more as a Vice Captain under Luke Donald in 2023 but he was happy to reflect on that glorious victory over the United States nearly 12 years ago.

"It's always special to come back here," he said. "I played the Ryder Cup in 2010 and I've got great memories from that week.

"The golf course hasn't changed one bit, it's just a little bit firmer this year and I'm looking forward to the week.

"I think this week it will be much firmer than 2010, it will be playing shorter probably. I think it's a good test, the rough is up this year and there's a lot of fescue. You don't want to finish in there because there's a lot of fescue and you're laying up otherwise.

"It's just a very good test, the greens are in good shape so I think it will be a good week."

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