European Golf Tour
PGA European - Italian Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, September 19th through Sunday, September 22nd
SITE: Golf Club Torino, Turin, Italy
COURSE ARCHITECT: John Morrison (1956)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,208
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 511 Yds10 - Par 4 427 Yds
2 - Par 4 414 Yds11 - Par 4 427 Yds
3 - Par 4 412 Yds12 - Par 5 531 Yds
4 - Par 4 423 Yds13 - Par 3 186 Yds
5 - Par 3 178 Yds14 - Par 4 371 Yds
6 - Par 4 466 Yds15 - Par 5 593 Yds
7 - Par 4 398 Yds16 - Par 3 220 Yds
8 - Par 3 195 Yds17 - Par 4 465 Yds
9 - Par 5 558 Yds18 - Par 4 433 Yds
36 3,555 Yds36 3,653 Yds
Annual:  70th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday -- 8-11 a.m. (et),
  - Sunday -- 8-11:30 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Runner-Up:  Garth Mulroy
Tournament Record:  262 (Peter Alliss, 1935)
54-Hole Record:  194 (Hennie Otto, 2008)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Ian Poulter, 2002)
18-Hole Record:  61 (Ian Poulter, Angel Cabrera, 2002 - Olgiata Golf Club;
  Robert Karlsson, 2008 - Castello di Tolcinaso Golf & CC)
Total Purse:  $2,003,737 (1,500,000 euros)
Share:  1st Place - $331,235; 2nd Place - $220,814; 3rd Place - $124,411
2012 Finish
Gonzalo Fdez-Castano264Martin Kaymer270
Garth Mulroy266Pablo Larrazabal270
Gregory Bourdy268Gary Boyd270
Matteo Manassero268Rafael Cabrera-Bello271
Nicolas Colsaerts270Three players at272
Past Italian Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2012Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (264) -- Garth Mulroy
2011Robert Rock (267) -- Gary Boyd, Thorbjorn Olesen
2010Fredrik Andersson Hed (272) -- David Horsey
2009Daniel Vancsik (267) -- Raphael Jacquelin, John Daly, Robert Rock
2008Hennie Otto (263) -- Oliver Wilson
2007*#Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (200) -- Markus Brier
2006Francesco Molinari (265) -- Anders Hansen, Jarmo Sandelin
2005Steve Webster (270) -- Anders Hansen, Bradley Dredge, Richard Finch
2004*#Graeme McDowell (197) -- Thomas Levet
2003Mathias Gronberg (271) -- Jose Manuel Lara, Colin Montgomerie,
Ricardo Gonzalez
2002#Ian Poulter (197) -- Paul Lawrie
2001Gregory Havret (268) -- Bradley Dredge
2000Ian Poulter (267) -- Gordon Brand, Jr.
1999Dean Robertson (271) -- Padraig Harrington
1998#Patrik Sjoland (195) -- Jose Maria Olazabal, Joakim Haeggman
1997Bernhard Langer (273) -- Jose Maria Olazabal
1996Jim Payne (275) -- Patrik Sjoland
1995Sam Torrance (269) -- Jose Rivero
1994Eduardo Romero (272) -- Greg Turner
1993Greg Turner (267) -- Jose Coceres
1992Sandy Lyle (270) -- Colin Montgomerie
1991Craig Parry (279) -- Ian Woosnam
1990Richard Boxall (267) -- Jose Maria Olazabal
1989Ronan Rafferty (273) -- Sam Torrance
1988Greg Norman (270) -- Craig Parry
1987*Sam Torrance (271) -- Jose Rivero
1986*David Feherty (270) -- Ronan Rafferty
1985Manuel Pinero (267) -- Sam Torrance
1984Sandy Lyle (277) -- Bobby Clampett
1983*Bernhard Langer (271) -- Seve Ballesteros, Ken Brown
1982Mark James (280) -- Ian Woosnam, Bobby Clampett
1981*Jose Maria Canizares (280) -- Bobby Clampett
1980Massimo Mannelli (276) -- John Bland, Ken Brown
1979Brian Barnes (281) -- Dale Hayes
1978Dale Hayes (293) -- Tommy Horton, Vin Baker
1977Angel Gallardo (286) -- Brian Barnes
1976Baldovino Dassu (280) -- Carl Mason, Manuel Pinero
1975Billy Casper (286) -- Brian Barnes
1974Peter Oosterhuis (249) -- Dale Hayes, Johnny Miller
1973Tony Jacklin (284) -- Valentin Barrios
1972Norman Wood (271) -- Brian Huggett
1971Ramon Sota (282) -- Brian Barnes
1970Not Held
1969Not Held
1968Not Held
1967Not Held
1966Not Held
1965Not Held
1964Not Held
1963Not Held
1962Not Held
1961Not Held
1960B.Wilkes (285) -- Aldo Casera
1959Peter Thomson (269) -- A. Angelini
1958Peter Alliss (282) -- A. Angelini
1957Harold Henning (273) -- R. Cotton
1956A.Cerda (284) -- Flora van Donck
1955Flora van Donck (287) - H. DeLamaze
1954Ugo Grappasonni (272) -- J. Jacobs
1953Flora van Donck (267) -- L. Faulkner
1952E.Brown (273) -- D. Rees
1951J.Adams (289) -- E. Brown, A. Angelini
1950Ugo Grappasonni (281) -- A. Angelini
1949H.Hassanein (263) -- Aldo Casera
1948Aldo Casera (267) -- P. Manca, Ugo Grappasonni
1947Flory Van Donck (263) -- Aldo Casera
1946Not Held
1945Not Held
1944Not Held
1943Not Held
1942Not Held
1941Not Held
1940Not Held
1939Not Held
1938Flory van Donck (276) -- P. Travaini
1937M.Dallegagne (276) -- Auguste Boyer
1936Henry Cotton (268) -- J. Ezar
1935Peter Alliss (262) -- Auguste Boyer
1934N.Nutley (132) -- Gonzales
1933Not Held
1932A.Boomer (143) -- Auguste Boyer
1931Auguste Boyer (141) -- R. Golias
1930Auguste Boyer (140) -- A. Dallemagne
1929R.Golias (143) -- Auguste Boyer
1928Auguste Boyer (145) -- Loth
1927Peter Alliss (145) -- M. Dallemagne
1926Auguste Boyer (147) -- A. Ross
1925Francesco Pasquali (154) -- W.H. Jolly

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

Note:Formerly called BMW Italian Open (2009-12), Methorios Capital Italian
Open (2008), Telecom Italia Open (2002-07), Atlanet Italian Open (2001), Fiat & Fila Italian Open (1999), Conte of Florence Italian Open (1996), Tisettanta Italian Open (1994), Lancia-Martini Italian Open (1990-93), Lancia Italian Open (1987-89), Italian Open (1971-86, 95, 98, 2000).

Top Contenders in the Field
G. Fdez-Castano------T-6---Wonmc---------Won
Garth Mulroy---------------------------2nd
Matteo Manassero------------------T-25T-29T-8T-3
Gregory Bourdy------T-60T-33T-60T-30---T-22T-11T-3
Gary Boyd---------------------T-52T-2T-5
Nicolas ColsaertsT-26mcT-32T-12T-30------T-3---T-5
R. Cabrera Bello------------T-56T-51---mcT-679th
Hennie Otto47th---mcT-33---WonmcT-7T-46T-22
F. Andersson Hed---T-28mc---T-3mcT-54WonT-15T-35
Robert Rock---T-48T-37mcT-56T-51T-2T-17WonT-46
Francesco MolinarimcT-13T-17WonT-3mcT-6---T-8T-46
Steve Webster------WonmcmcT-23---T-46T-33T-57
Soren Kjeldsen---T-48T-144thmcT-38---T-10T-39T-57
Jose M. Olazabal---mc---------------------T-63
Mathias GronbergWon---------------T-42------mc
Simon Dyson---------------------wd------
David Duval------------------------------
Retief Goosen------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Simon Dyson
Darkhorse - Gregory Havret
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ross Fisher) - Finished tied for 3rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Craig Lee) - Missed the cut
NOTES:One of the most storied events on the European Tour schedule, the
Italian Open takes center stage this week. This tournament dates back to 1925. Some of the European Tour's best are in the United States competing in the PGA Tour Championship. However, two of the top 50 players in the world are in the field - Italians Matteo Manassero (31) and 2006 champion Francesco Molinari (47).

Manassero made his professional debut in his home country in 2010 and finished in a tie for 29th. He tied for eighth in 2011 and tied for third in 2012. Manassero has already won four times on the European Tour and is still only 20 years old. He became the youngest winner in European Tour history when he won the Castello Masters at 17 years and 188 days old in 2010. Manassero's biggest win came earlier this year at the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. Molinari became the first Italian to win a World Golf Championships event when he won the HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China, in 2010.

Former major championship winners Retief Goosen and David Duval are also in the field. Goosen, the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open champion, is playing for the first time since April. He has been sidelined due to a back injury. Duval, the 2001 British Open champion, is playing in this event for the first time.

In its long and established history, this event has seen many highlights, including Seve Ballesteros becoming the first player on the European Tour to record eight consecutive birdies in 1985. In 1990, Richard Boxall captured his only European Tour victory. He led from round one, in doing so equaling the European Tour record for largest 36-hole lead by a winner, seven shots, eventually winning by five.

Last year, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano fired an 8-under 64 in the final round to come from behind and capture this title for a second time. Fernandez-Castano finished at 24-under 264 and bested third-round leader Garth Mulroy by two at Royal Park I Roveri. It was Fernandez-Castano's sixth win on tour. The Spaniard also claimed victory at this championship in 2007.

In 2011, Robert Rock finally got his first European Tour victory in his 209th start. Rock shot rounds of 64-68-68-67 and won the title by a single stroke at 21-under 267 over Gary Boyd and Thorbjorn Olesen. In recent years, this tournament has seen several first-time winners. Since 1986, 13 players have made this event their debut win, including nine of the last 14 years.

Fredrik Andersson Hed shot rounds of 70-66-63-73 and won by two strokes over David Horsey in 2010. Andersson Hed, who won for the first time on the European Tour, finished at 16-under-par 272.

In 2008, Hennie Otto fended off a stiff charge from Oliver Wilson to win, shooting a 3-under 69 in the final round to claim his first European Tour victory. He finished at 25-under 263, one shot off the tournament scoring record.

Molinari finished off a spectacular week of golf in 2006 with a 7-under 65 in the final round to pull away for a 4-shot win. Molinari's day began with an eagle at the first hole and ended with a birdie and a champagne shower on the 18th green, as he became the first Italian in 26 years to win this title. Molinari finished at 23-under-par 265 after his third straight bogey-free round. His first career win came one year after his older brother, Edoardo, won the U.S. Amateur Championship. Francesco became the first Italian to win a European Tour event on home soil since Massimo Mannelli won at Rome Golf Club in 1980. He also became the youngest player to win this tournament at 23 years and 180 days old. Billy Casper was the oldest winner when he won in 1975 at 44 years and 248 days.

There have been five wire-to-wire winners - Baldovino Dassu (1976), Jose Maria Canizares (1981), Sam Torrance (1987), Boxall (1990) and Ian Poulter (2002). Poulter's wire-to-wire victory was through 54 holes as the tournament was shortened by bad weather.

There have been only two back-to-back champions - Auguste Boyer (1930-31) and Flory van Donck in 1938 and 1947, as the event was not held between 1939-46 due to World War II. Both players were four-time champions.

The European Tour travels to Scotland next week for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, where South African Branden Grace will defend his title.

09/17 15:37:21 ET

As of September 17, 2013, at 03:37 PM ET