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Remind me next time

In what was a surreal week with the the unfortunate passing of Her Majesty the Queen, play was suspended as soon as the news broke late Thursday afternoon. The BMW Championship resumed Saturday morning with the tournament cut to 54 holes. After 36 holes 3/5 of our tips were inside the top 11 and were sitting pretty. After an unfortunate Sunday fluttered with bogies for all 3 players, T10 ended up being the highest finish of them all.

Shane Lowry gained his 2nd Rolex Series event win via a one shot victory over Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, staking his claim for qualification for the 2023 Ryder Cup team.

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The PGA Tour 2022/2023 season begins this week at the Fortinet Championship, however I have decided not to preview it until the season settles down as results can be inconsistent. Therefore, I am sticking with the DP World Tour for now as the tournaments are a much better calibre.

We are onto the Italian Open which is held at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club for the second year in a row, which is situated around 10 miles outside Rome in the area of Guidonia, Italy.

In December 2015, it was announced that Marco Simone would host the 2023 Ryder Cup as their bid was accepted. With this in mind, the field that the Italian Open has attracted this year is by far the best it has seen the past few years. So it’s set to be a good one!

About Championship Course @ Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

  • Par 71, 7270 yards approx.
  • David Mezzacane original design, Jim Fazio/Euro Tour Re-design
  • 4 x Par 3s - ranging from 145-219 yards
  • 11 x Par 4s - ranging from 330-503 yards
  • 3 x Par 5s - 554, 587 and 626 yards
  • Bentgrass fairways, Fescue rough
  • Greens have been relaid with Creeping Bentgrass
  • Parkland course, tree lined fairways
  • Water hazards aplenty

A course that has seen major changes the last couple of years to prepare it for the biggest of stages come September/October next year.

Looking at the course from an aerial point of view, it looks very much to me like Wentworth last week but with extra water involved. Tree lined fairways, dog legs/forced lay ups throughout, well placed bunkers in the fairways and around the greens and the undulating large greens and laid with the same type of Bentgrass as they are at the Wentworth Club.

Precision looks to be the key again this week with a bang on Tee to Green game. Lets take a look how last years edition of the Italian Open went and how the winner faired stats wise.

Top 15 - Italian Open 2021

1. N Hojgaard -13
T2. A Meronk -12
T2. T Fleetwood -12
4. F Laporta -11
T5. M Kawamura -10
T5. E Molinari -10
T5. R Bland -10
T8. M Korhonen -9
T8. P Larrazabal -9
T8. J Veerman -9
T8. S Jamieson -9
T12. A Arnaus -8
T12. MW Lee -8
T12. S Sharma -8
T15. S Horsfield -7
T15. H Stenson -7
T15. M Jordan -7

Stats for the 2021 winner

N Hojgaard -13

  • OTT 1st
  • DD 20th
  • DA 49th
  • T2G 1st
  • APP 14th
  • SCR 1st
  • P 33rd

Looking at the top 15 last year and the type of guys that took up the places, precision is key and being a top class driver of the ball will not go a miss either.

Forced lay ups will be mostly needed off the tee and blind approach shots will be the state of play on more than a third of the holes.

The top three last year interestingly all were inside the top 20 for driving distance also which is not surprising. A long par 71 with some big holes will give advantage to those big hitters in the field.

Two out of the top three also ranked in the top six for GIR with all 3 hitting over 70% of greens in regulation and all 3 of them ranking inside the top nine for scrambling.

The longer, more accurate strikers of the golf ball who do not make many mistakes (bogey avoidance) will be the main back bone of my card for sure this week.

And as I said above, the greens on photos and by description match up to those that we seen at Wentworth last week so a quick glance over the putting stats for last week will not go a miss either.

Italian Open Betting Tips

As I said before, it is a big field this week with some star names with  Rory McIlroy leading the betting market at a measly 15/4 followed by Matty Fitz at 10/1 and then Viktor Hovland at 12/1, with Hatton just behind them in the betting at 20/1, that’s 4 of the big guns in terms of Europe’s Ryder Cup team next year so hopefully they can get a good feel of the place.

Another five each-way picks again this week. Good luck all!

  1. Tyrrell Hatton 20/1
  2. Fabrizio Zanotti 50/1
  3. Masahiro Kawamura 55/1
  4. Victor Perez 55/1
  5. Marcel Siem 190/1