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Italian Open 2018

DATES: May 31 - June 03
SITE: Gardagolf Country Club, Brescia Italy
PRIZE MONEY: $7,000,000

Round 4 - Thorbjørn Olesen claims maiden Rolex Series victory in Italy

June 03, 2018

Thorbjørn Olesen claimed a maiden Rolex Series victory at the Italian Open after a thrilling final round battle with Francesco Molinari and Lee Slattery.

“Unbelievable. Obviously been a little bit of a tough time for me this year. Yeah, to come into this Rolex Series and to do what I've done is amazing, especially to come-from-behind and win. I haven't done that in my career so far, so that was very special."

Thorbjørn Olesen claims maiden Rolex Series victory in Italy, © Getty Images

The 28 year old needed a par at the last to secure his fifth European Tour title after home favourite Molinari sent the crowd wild with a birdie from 30 feet on the final hole, but the Dane made an excellent up and down from a greenside bunker to complete a final round 64 and 22 under par total.

That was one ahead of last week's Wentworth winner Molinari, with overnight leader Slattery third on 20 under at Gardagolf Country Club.

“I was standing down there in the rough, and seeing him hole that long birdie putt, and in back of my mind, I thought bogey probably would make it to win, and then all of a sudden, I knew I needed to make four to win. That definitely made it tough, but it was nice to hole that putt on the last and to get that feeling of, yeah, holing it when it really matters."

“This is exactly what I needed. Well, it's always what we need but right now for me it's great.”

A bogey-free final round handed Olesen his biggest win of his career and the largest prize fund, with the 1,166,660 Race to Dubai points moving him to sixth position in the year-long Rankings.

The win also gives Olesen a boost in his hopes of making a maiden Ryder Cup appearance this September in Thomas Bjørn’s European team- with points earned in Rolex Series events multiplied by 1.5 - he now sits fifth in the European Points List and just outside the projected automatic qualification spots.

Slattery signed for a final round 67, with Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello's 66 enough for fourth on 18 under. Ryder Cup vice captains Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell produced final rounds of 63 and 64 respectively to share fifth with England’s Andy Sullivan.

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
1
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-22
65
68
65
64
262
2
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-21
66
66
66
65
263
3
Lee Slattery
ENG
-20
66
69
62
67
264

More scores

Round 3 - Slattery hoping to spoil Molinariís homecoming party in Italy

June 02, 2018

England's Lee Slattery stormed into the lead with a best-of-the-week 62 on day three of the Italian Open at Gardagolf Country Club to take a one stroke lead over Denmark's Thorbjørn Olesen and home favourite Francesco Molinari into the final round of the second Rolex Series event of the European Tour season.

“Coming off the back of 77 and 79 at Wentworth last week, I never really expected this. But it proves once again to all them golfers out there, you're never that far away. So yeah, just an incredible round of golf. Played lovely all day."

Slattery hoping to spoil Molinariís homecoming party in Italy, © Getty Images

“I think because the course has played quite wet this week, it has not played firm like we all thought it would with the weather. They had a thunderstorm the other night and it just made it very wet, and yesterday was very unlucky, hitting driver off that hole, one of the best my day and lost my ball."

"I felt like I dealt with it well. Took me two holes to get it out of my system but to come back today and shoot 62, can't even think about it."

The 39 year old Englishman made eight birdies, an eagle and a single bogey in his nine-under-par round, which took him to 16 under for the week and one clear of Olesen and Molinari, who carded respective third rounds of 65 and 66 to share second place, with halfway leader Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett a shot further back.

Major champions Kaymer and Willett have both struggled for form of late but kept their chances alive with rounds of 68 and 67 respectively, with English pair Andy Sullivan and Jordan Smith round in 65 to share sixth on 13 under with China's Li Haotong (67) and Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello (68).

Last week's BMW PGA Championship winner Molinari may have seen his incredible run of 85 holes without a bogey come to an end on the sixth hole of his third round, but he recovered beautifully with five birdies in his last 12 holes, including the 18th, where the huge galleries roared home their man in typically passionate fashion.

“I've been more erratic off the tee probably than usual, but I managed to scramble well. Putting today was really good. Might go hit some balls on the range tonight."

Molinari will once again relish the burden of expectation of an entire nation during the final round, when he will look to lift his national open title for the third time in his remarkable career.

“It would be the most special considering what I've done last week. But yeah, one step at a time. Hopefully my ball-striking will be a little bit better tomorrow and take another chance."

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Lee Slattery
ENG
-16
66
69
62
197
T2
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-15
66
66
66
198
T2
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-15
65
68
65
198
T4
Danny Willett
ENG
-14
65
67
67
199
T4
Martin Kaymer
GER
-14
68
63
68
199
T6
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-13
67
68
65
200
T6
Haotong Li
CHN
-13
68
65
67
200
T6
Jordan Smith
ENG
-13
67
68
65
200
T6
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-13
65
67
68
200
T10
Ian Poulter
ENG
-12
67
68
66
201
T10
Scott Hend
AUS
-12
68
66
67
201
T10
Thomas Aiken
RSA
-12
69
68
64
201
T10
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-12
65
67
69
201

Round 2 - Brilliant Kaymer heads world class leaderboard at Italian Open

June 01, 2018

Martin Kaymer heads a truly world-class leaderboard at the halfway stage of the Italian Open after brilliant second round of eight under par 63 saw the German move one stroke clear of five fellow Ryder Cup stars at Gardagolf Country Club.

“It has been a while that I played that solid without making a mistake. I think I was getting very close recently, but that positivity was missing on the golf courses because I haven't had a lot of results recently. I have been playing well, I just couldn't see a good score."

Brilliant Kaymer heads world class leaderboard at Italian Open, © Getty Images

“Today my only goal was just trying to hit fairways. Because if you hit fairways, you have great chances. I drove it very well today and then a few putts went in on the last five, six holes, and then one of those rounds, they happen."

“It's really exciting to see myself playing that solid. It was just a matter of putting the right mental attitude on to the golf course. I did very well the last two days.”

The German accelerated through the field with eight birdies and not a single dropped shot to post an 11 under total and steal a one shot advantage over Rafa Cabrera Bello (67), Graeme McDowell (66), Francesco Molinari (66), Thomas Pieters (67) and Danny Willett (67) in this the second Rolex Series event on the 2018 Race to Dubai.

“Today I didn't play well again," said McDowell. "Really getting the ball around with some really good iron play and some good scrambling, you know, and feeling good on the greens."

“I think just coming here, having a little confidence. Looking around, knowing I'm one of the more experienced players in the field. Knowing that my best golf can compete here, and like you say, having played well on this type of golf courses in the past; change of scenery from the PGA TOUR, just feeling comfortable among guys I know well here and environments that bring back the old memories.”

With favourable scoring conditions set to continue into the weekend, any one of the 83 players who made the four under par cut could make a run at the title, but the focus of the huge Italian crowds will be on the final two groups of the third round with home hero Molinari, who is bidding to win a third Italian Open, joining Pieters and Willett in the penultimate match before Kaymer, Cabrera and McDowell complete the final round line up.

Molinari is certainly the man in form of the leading six players having won the season’s first Rolex Series event – the BMW PGA Championship – at Wentworth last Sunday.

“Had a relaxing afternoon yesterday and on the course today, a bit more energy. It was a bit tricky at the start with the breeze and not so easy to get the ball close to the hole. But yeah, I did well. I was patient at the beginning and stuck with it."

“I just need not to think about it and be aggressive, stay aggressive. It's a course where a lot of people are up at the top of the leaderboard, so it's going to be I think a bit of a birdie-fest at the weekend and I need to be ready for it.”

Cabrera Bello, like Molinari, is simply one of the most consistent players on Tour, while the Major Championship-winning trio of Kaymer, McDowell and Willett (and to a lesser extent Pieters) are all making their way back to the very highest level having gone through some tough periods of loss of form over the last couple of seasons.

The old adage of form is temporary; class is permanent could have been written for any of those four, and it will certainly be hugely exciting battle for the Italian Open trophy over the weekend.

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
Total
1
Martin Kaymer
GER
-11
68
63
131
T2
Danny Willett
ENG
-10
65
67
132
T2
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-10
66
66
132
T2
Graeme McDowell
NIR
-10
66
66
132
T2
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-10
65
67
132
T2
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-10
65
67
132
T7
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-9
65
68
133
T7
Haotong Li
CHN
-9
68
65
133
T7
Jens Dantorp
SWE
-9
67
65
132
T7
Robert Rock
ENG
-9
63
70
133
T7
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-9
65
68
133

Round 1 - Trio tied for lead in Italy

May 31, 2018

Robert Rock, Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne made the most of the scoreable conditions at Gardagolf Country Club to share the lead after the first round of the Italian Open.

Canter and Rock capitalised with rounds of 63 to set the target at eight under and after an hour and 19 minutes was lost in the afternoon due to storms in the area, it looked like none of the afternoon starters could catch them.

Trio tied for lead in Italy, Robert Rock, © Getty Images

“The course is soft and fairways are playing a bit wider because it's just landing and stopping, and on the greens you have to hole some putts. I holed some sort of the usual, solid birdie putts and holed a couple of bonus ones as well, so that was pretty cool," said Carter.

“It’s nice to come to a tournament that's got a lot of history to it and nice to see your name on the board somewhere. It means a lot. Ten years to win my first event, so hopefully I get to play this for a few more years, anyway, but I'll always remember this one best I think.”

Enter six-time European Tour winner Sterne, who carded a total of ten birdies - including three on the bounce at the end of his round - to make it a three-way tie at the top.

“It was lovely," said Sterne. "The course is playing nice, giving a lot of opportunities, so you've got to take them. I saw a lot of guys shoot quite low this morning. The greens were a bit bumpy this afternoon but it was probably one of the best putting days I've had in many a year, so it was nice."

“It makes the course a bit more accessible. The greens could be pretty quick here if it was firm, but as I said they are pretty soft, so you can get close, and the par fives are reachable. So it takes the long hitters out of play and everybody can attack this week."

There was then a group of nine players with 22 European Tour wins between then at six under, made up of Englishmen Ross Fisher, Charlie Ford, Matt Wallace and Danny Willett, Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, American Daniel Im, Dane Thorbjørn Olesen, Belgian Thomas Pieters and South African Erik van Rooyen.

Canter is looking for his first European Tour title after coming through the Qualifying School the last three seasons, while Rock is seeking win number three at the event where he claimed his maiden victory seven years ago.

Home favourite Francesco Molinari - a two-time winner of this event – is three shots off the pace at five under in the chasing pack as he searches for back-to-back Rolex Series titles.

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
T1
Laurie Canter
ENG
-8
63
T1
Richard Sterne
RSA
-8
63
T1
Robert Rock
ENG
-8
63
T4
Charlie Ford
ENG
-6
65
T4
Daniel Im
USA
-6
65
T4
Danny Willett
ENG
-6
65
T4
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-6
65
T4
Matt Wallace
ENG
-6
65
T4
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-6
65
T4
Ross Fisher
ENG
-6
65
T4
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-6
65
T4
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-6
65

Scores

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
1
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-22
65
68
65
64
262
2
Francesco Molinari
ITA
-21
66
66
66
65
263
3
Lee Slattery
ENG
-20
66
69
62
67
264
4
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-18
65
67
68
66
266
T5
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-17
67
68
65
67
267
T5
Graeme McDowell
NIR
-17
66
66
71
64
267
T5
Lee Westwood
ENG
-17
66
70
68
63
267
T8
Callum Shinkwin
ENG
-16
66
71
67
64
268
T8
Danny Willett
ENG
-16
65
67
67
69
268
T8
Ian Poulter
ENG
-16
67
68
66
67
268
T8
Jordan Smith
ENG
-16
67
68
65
68
268
T8
Martin Kaymer
GER
-16
68
63
68
69
268
T8
Ryan Fox
NZL
-16
69
68
67
64
268
T14
Jacques Kruyswijk
RSA
-15
67
70
65
67
269
T14
Lorenzo Gagli
ITA
-15
68
69
66
66
269
T14
Miguel Angel Jimenez
ESP
-15
68
70
68
63
269
T14
Scott Hend
AUS
-15
68
66
67
68
269
T14
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-15
65
67
69
68
269
T19
Haotong Li
CHN
-14
68
65
67
70
270
T19
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
-14
66
71
67
66
270
T21
Jason Scrivener
AUS
-13
67
71
68
65
271
T21
Oliver Fisher
ENG
-13
68
68
68
67
271
T23
Adam Bland
AUS
-12
70
66
71
65
272
T23
Alexander Noren
SWE
-12
70
68
66
68
272
T23
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
-12
70
68
66
68
272
T23
Bradley Dredge
WAL
-12
67
68
67
69
271
T23
Charlie Ford
ENG
-12
65
71
67
69
272
T23
James Morrison
ENG
-12
67
68
70
67
272
T23
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-12
68
67
69
68
272
T30
Dean Burmester
RSA
-11
70
67
66
70
273
T30
Dylan Frittelli
RSA
-11
67
67
69
70
273
T30
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
ESP
-11
70
66
69
68
273
T30
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-11
66
70
71
66
273
T30
Paul Dunne
IRL
-11
69
69
67
68
273
T30
Thomas Aiken
RSA
-11
69
68
64
72
273
T36
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
-10
68
69
70
67
274
T36
Chris Wood
ENG
-10
67
71
70
66
274
T36
Laurie Canter
ENG
-10
63
72
71
68
274
T36
Matteo Manassero
ITA
-10
66
68
68
72
274
T36
Padraig Harrington
IRL
-10
71
66
69
68
274
T36
Thomas Detry
BEL
-10
69
66
70
69
274
T42
Andrew Johnston
ENG
-9
69
69
66
71
275
T42
Brett Rumford
AUS
-9
70
68
68
69
275
T42
David Howell
ENG
-9
69
66
71
69
275
T42
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-9
65
68
74
68
275
T42
Nacho Elvira
ESP
-9
69
69
68
69
275
T42
Jens Dantorp
SWE
-9
67
65
72
70
274
T42
Matthias Schwab
AUT
-9
67
71
69
68
275
T42
Robert Rock
ENG
-9
63
70
69
73
275
T42
Soren Kjeldsen
DEN
-9
70
68
68
69
275
T51
Aaron Rai
ENG
-8
67
71
67
71
276
T51
Adrien Saddier
SCO
-8
68
67
70
71
276
T51
Austin Connelly
CAN
-8
69
68
71
68
276
T51
Eddie Pepperell
ENG
-8
67
71
66
72
276
T51
Haydn Porteous
RSA
-8
70
68
66
72
276
T51
Josh Geary
NZL
-8
68
69
70
69
276
T51
Julien Guerrier
FRA
-8
70
67
72
67
276
T51
Matt Wallace
ENG
-8
65
72
70
69
276
T51
Ross McGowan
ENG
-8
70
67
71
68
276
T60
Ashun Wu
CHI
-7
70
67
70
70
277
T60
Fabrizio Zanotti
PAR
-7
69
69
70
69
277
T60
Jorge Campillo
ESP
-7
68
68
70
71
277
T60
Ryan Evans
ENG
-7
67
69
70
71
277
T60
Trevor Immelman
RSA
-7
69
69
69
70
277
T65
Alexander Levy
FRA
-6
68
70
70
70
278
T65
Brandon Stone
RSA
-6
69
69
70
70
278
T65
David Drysdale
SCO
-6
68
68
71
71
278
T65
David Lipsky
USA
-6
68
67
71
72
278
T65
Richard Sterne
RSA
-6
63
72
72
71
278
70
Richard Bland
ENG
-5
70
64
74
71
279
T71
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
-4
68
70
71
71
280
T71
Wade Ormsby
AUS
-4
66
71
67
76
280
73
Daniel Brooks
ENG
-2
67
71
71
73
282
CUT
Andres Romero
ARG
-3
67
70
73
-
210
CUT
Darren Fichardt
RSA
-3
66
69
75
-
210
CUT
Gavin Green
MAS
-3
71
67
72
-
210
CUT
Jamie Donaldson
WAL
-3
66
72
72
-
210
CUT
Daniel Im
USA
-2
65
70
75
-
210
CUT
Gregory Havret
FRA
-2
68
69
74
-
211
CUT
Hideto Tanihara
JPN
-1
67
67
78
-
212
CUT
Jeung-Hun Wang
KOR
-1
68
70
74
-
212
CUT
Peter Hanson
SWE
-1
68
70
74
-
212
CUT
Scott Jamieson
SCO
4
69
69
79
-
217
CUT
Chris Hanson
ENG
-3
71
68
-
-
139
CUT
Connor Syme
SCO
-3
68
71
-
-
139
CUT
Felipe Aguilar
CHI
-3
70
69
-
-
139
CUT
Filippo Bergamaschi
ITA
-3
71
68
-
-
139
CUT
Gregory Bourdy
FRA
-3
70
69
-
-
139
CUT
Marc Warren
SCO
-3
68
71
-
-
139
CUT
Matthew Southgate
ENG
-3
71
68
-
-
139
CUT
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
-3
68
71
-
-
139
CUT
Ross Fisher
ENG
-3
65
74
-
-
139
CUT
Sebastian Heisele
GER
-3
71
68
-
-
139
CUT
Sebastien Gros
FRA
-3
71
68
-
-
139
CUT
Thongchai Jaidee
THA
-3
71
68
-
-
139
CUT
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
-2
71
69
-
-
140
CUT
Ashley Chesters
ENG
-2
67
73
-
-
140
CUT
Guido Migliozzi
ITA
-2
72
68
-
-
140
CUT
Jin-Ho Choi
KOR
-2
71
69
-
-
140
CUT
Mikko Ilonen
FIN
-2
70
70
-
-
140
CUT
Ricardo Melo Gouveia
POR
-2
72
68
-
-
140
CUT
Stephen Gallacher
SCO
-2
69
71
-
-
140
CUT
Alvaro Quiros
ESP
-1
71
70
-
-
141
CUT
Andrea Pavan
ITA
-1
69
72
-
-
141
CUT
Chase Koepka
USA
-1
72
69
-
-
141
CUT
Chris Paisley
ENG
-1
71
70
-
-
141
CUT
George Coetzee
RSA
-1
70
71
-
-
141
CUT
Jason Norris
AUS
-1
69
72
-
-
141
CUT
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
-1
69
72
-
-
141
CUT
Pedro Oriol
ESP
-1
70
71
-
-
141
CUT
Phachara Khongwatmai
THA
-1
69
72
-
-
141
CUT
Richie Ramsay
SCO
-1
67
74
-
-
141
CUT
Sam Horsfield
ENG
-1
69
72
-
-
141
CUT
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
-1
72
69
-
-
141
CUT
Clement Sordet
FRA
Par
69
73
-
-
142
CUT
Lasse Jensen
DNK
Par
70
72
-
-
142
CUT
Luca Cianchetti
ITA
Par
69
73
-
-
142
CUT
Mark Foster
ENG
Par
71
71
-
-
142
CUT
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
Par
74
68
-
-
142
CUT
Nino Bertasio
ITA
Par
69
73
-
-
142
CUT
Romain Wattel
FRA
Par
71
71
-
-
142
CUT
Andrew Dodt
AUS
1
72
71
-
-
143
CUT
Francesco Laporta
ITA
1
71
72
-
-
143
CUT
Joakim Lagergren
SWE
1
68
75
-
-
143
CUT
Marcus Fraser
AUS
1
74
69
-
-
143
CUT
Matthieu Pavon
FRA
1
72
71
-
-
143
CUT
Paul Waring
ENG
1
68
75
-
-
143
CUT
Raphael Jacquelin
FRA
1
68
75
-
-
143
CUT
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
2
73
71
-
-
144
CUT
David Horsey
ENG
2
72
72
-
-
144
CUT
Edoardo Molinari
ITA
2
76
68
-
-
144
CUT
Jeff Winther
SWE
2
69
75
-
-
144
CUT
Maximilian Kieffer
GER
2
71
73
-
-
144
CUT
Pontus Widegren
SWE
2
69
75
-
-
144
CUT
Shiv Chawrasia
IND
2
73
71
-
-
144
CUT
Steven Brown
ENG
2
71
73
-
-
144
CUT
James Heath
ENG
3
72
73
-
-
145
CUT
Marcel Siem
GER
3
72
73
-
-
145
CUT
Sam Brazel
AUS
3
70
75
-
-
145
CUT
Bradley Neil
SCO
4
73
73
-
-
146
CUT
Rak Cho
KOR
4
71
75
-
-
146
CUT
Robert Karlsson
SWE
4
70
76
-
-
146
CUT
Tapio Pulkkanen
FIN
4
74
72
-
-
146
CUT
Jacopo Vecchi Fossa
ITA
5
74
73
-
-
147
CUT
Scott Fernandez
ESP
5
71
76
-
-
147
CUT
Soo-Min Lee
KOR
5
70
77
-
-
147
CUT
Nico Geyger
CHI
6
74
74
-
-
148
CUT
Pep Angles
ESP
6
73
75
-
-
148
CUT
Enrico Di Nitto
ITA
7
74
75
-
-
149
CUT
Federico Maccario
ITA
7
75
74
-
-
149
CUT
Oliver Farr
WAL
7
77
72
-
-
149
CUT
Matthew Baldwin
ENG
8
75
75
-
-
150
CUT
Carlos Pigem
ESP
9
72
79
-
-
151
CUT
Renato Paratore
ITA
9
73
78
-
-
151
CUT
Zander Lombard
RSA
13
78
77
-
-
155
RET
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
Par
69
-
-
-
69

 




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