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Molinari dreaming of home success in Sicily

May 08, 2018

Edoardo Molinari is dreaming of tasting victory on home soil as the European Tour returns to Verdura Golf Club for this week's Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.

The 37 year old has three European Tour titles to his name, with last year's Trophee Hassan II win following two victories in Scotland in 2010, and the home favourite has his sights set on adding to that tally this week along the Sicilian coast.

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“The venue is fantastic, everyone who played last year I think really enjoyed it. This year is going to be even better, the golf course, is in ever better shape than it was last year and the weather is going to be fantastic like always down here in Sicily, so I’m sure everyone playing this week will have an enjoyable week."

“I think it’s going to be windy most of the week, so usually whoever will win will be a good player in windy conditions. Other than that, you have to be in control of your iron shots because the greens tend to be quite firm, so with this wind and firm greens it will be quite difficult to get the ball close.

“It would be fantastic. Obviously, it’s a slightly smaller event this week than the Italian Open, but again, it’s one of only two events on Italian soil so it would be fantastic to win on home ground."

Fellow countryman Matteo Manassero is also happy to be home and is looking to build on an encouraging week at the Volvo China Open. The four-time European Tour winner finished 20th in his last outing in Beijing and is hoping to string four solid rounds together once again this week.

“I want to think that I’m trending in the right direction. The game is getting much better. Myself, the mental side, is getting much better. I’m more confident so I would say that’s all I need and now I really hope to have some tournaments where I put four rounds together. At the moment I’ve been struggling. Maybe I have two good rounds and then a bad one, and then I always end off around 40th, so now I’m hoping to put four rounds together and have a good week."

With 23 Italians in the field this week, 29 year old Nino Bertasio is looking to capitalise on his recent form having enjoyed a strong start to the season, with a tie for fifth at the Maybank Championship in February already to his name.

“It’s been very steady, I got off to a good start and finished fifth in Malaysia. I’ve made quite a few cuts, but lately I feel like my game has been a little bit better than the results, even though we’re playing on the weekend, which is always good, but I feel like we should get a little bit more out of it.

“The season just started and now we’ve got a lot of big tournaments coming up like Wentworth and the Italian Open and then there is another stretch of Rolex Series. I’m quite looking forward to it to be honest.

“To win in Italy would mean a lot. Winning for the first time and winning in Italy would be special. I know Francesco did it, and I would love to copy that."

Andrea Pavan, who is currently 39th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, is another in great form heading into the European summer, missing just two cuts out of his ten European Tour events this season and recording five top 20 results, including a tied third finish at Trophée Hassan II.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo Gagli has also been impressing this season playing on both the European Tour and Challenge Tour. The 32 year old is leading the way on the Challenge Tour after winning the Barclays Kenya Open and taking a share of second at the Turkish Airlines Challenge, and will be looking to please the home crowds when he plays in his eighth European Tour event of 2018.

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