Manassero favourite in his national open
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2013 70° OPEN D'ITALIA LINDT | Preview | 18 Sep 2013
The European Tour is in Italy this week for the 70 Open D’ Italia Lindt at the Golf Club Torino just outside of Turin in the very north west of the country.
The event has been part of the European Tour since the establishment of the Tour (as we know it now) in 1972.
Gonzalo FDEZ-CASTANO is the defending champion having won the event by two shots over Garth Mulroy at the Royal Park 1 Roveri course also in Turin.
Only three Italians to have won the event since 1972 namely Baldovino Dassu in 1976, Massimo Mannelli in 1978 and Francesco Molinari in 2006 but in 2013 another has a very good chance.
Matteo Manassero has hardly starred since his victory at the BMW Championship at Wentworth in May but he is the highest ranked player in the field by some way and is a player good enough to win in front of home fans. He finished 3rd in the event last year and 8th in 2011 so the 31st ranked player in the world could well win the event ever player wants to win at least once in a career – his own national open.
Simon Dyson has put together some nice events of late including a 3rd place finish last week at the KLM Open and his chances look promising.
Francesco Molinari is of course one of Italy’s favourite golfing sons and although missing the cut in his last two starts in Wales and Switzerland he is a classy player with victory in this event already to his name.
Brooks Koepka is a genuine star of the future. The American has been playing in Europe this season on both the Challenge and European Tours with enough success on the Challenge Tour to be assured of playing the European Tour full time in 2014 if he so chooses. He is a brilliant young player and an event like this is not beyond him.
Australians in the field are Robert Allenby, Marcus Fraser, Richard Green and Scott Hend.
Allenby produced one of his best tournaments in some time when he finished 11th at the KLM Open. Although now ranked 539th in the world it was a much improved effort and hopefully a sign of better things to come.
Fraser, now Australia’s 5th ranked player, has also played better in recent weeks and deserves respect.