Italian Open: A guide and best bets for this week's European Tour event in Turin
By Mark Kendall - Twitter: @SkySportsMK. Last Updated: 27/08/14 1:33pm
Francesco Molinari will be playing at his home course this week, along with brother Edoardo
This week the European Tour bandwagon rolls into Turin for the Italian Open, with the Circolo Golf Torino playing host for the second year running.
A lush parkland lay-out about 12 miles north-west of Turin city centre, the current site has been in existence for 57 years, although the club itself goes back even further to 1920.
The venue is the home course of Ryder Cup brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, who grew up playing there as youngsters and continue to be attached to the club.
Both will be competing this week, with Francesco looking to win his home title for a second time after his triumph in 2006 - although that came at the Castello di Tolcinasco Golf & CC in Lombardy.
Edoardo can boast a professional victory at this week's venue, the older sibling emerging triumphant when the Challenge Tour's Piemonte Open was held here in 2009.
This week's tournament also has the added intrigue of being the final event of qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team.
While Francesco might be hoping that a victory could help persuade captain Paul McGinley (who tees it up this week) to consider him as a wildcard pick, the only man with his destiny in his own hands is Stephen Gallacher who needs a victory or top-two finish to qualify by right.
As ever, all four rounds will be shown live on Sky Sports 4HD this week.
At around 7,200 yards, it is a relatively short par-72 tree-lined track. Its defence comes in the shape of numerous fairway bunkers and water hazards, while the rough this year is reported to be particularly penal with Bernd Wiesberger tweeting: "I must say they made sure not to cut the Rough at all this year! Gonna be a tough Test!" With the greens providing large targets, the emphasis will be on accuracy from the tee and precision with approach shots.
The Circolo Golf Torino course is a tree-lined parkland track with plenty of bunkers
2013: Julien Quesne -12 (Circolo Golf Torino)
2012: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano -24 (Royal Park i Roveri)
2011: Robert Rock -21 (Royal Park i Roveri)
2010: Fredrik Andersson Hed -16 (Royal Park i Roveri)
Starting at hole 1
0730 Simon Thornton, Christopher Doak, Merrick Bremner (Rsa)
0740 Jens Dantorp (Swe), Niclas Fasth (Swe), Emanuele Canonica (Ita)
0750 Ignacio Garrido (Spa), Nacho Elvira (Spa), Alexandre Kaleka (Fra)
0800 Shiv Kapur (Ind), James Morrison, Gregory Molteni (Ita)
0810 Estanislao Goya (Arg), Nino Bertasio (Ita), Tyrrell Hatton
0820 Patrik Sjoland (Swe), Seve Benson, Andrew Sullivan
0830 Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe), Peter Whiteford, Thomas Levet (Fra)
0840 Steve Webster, Gareth Maybin, Jorge Campillo (Spa)
0850 Moritz Lampert (Ger), Joachim B Hansen (Den), John Parry
0900 Soren Hansen (Den), Andrea Romano (Ita), Brinson Paolini (USA)
0910 Mikko Korhonen (Fin), Richard Green (Aus), Andreas Harto (Den)
0920 Andrea Rota (Ita), Simon Wakefield, Stuart Manley
0930 Anthony Wall, Guido Migliozzi (x) (Spa), Filippo Bergamaschi (Ita)
1230 Adrien Saddier (Fra), Nick Dougherty, Matthew Nixon
1240 Carlos Del Moral (Spa), Francois Calmels (Fra), Renato Paratore (x) (Ita)
1250 Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa), Simon Khan
1300 George Coetzee (Rsa), Ross Fisher, Alexander Levy (Fra)
1310 Romain Wattel (Fra), Marc Warren, Paul McGinley
1320 Darren Clarke, Francesco Molinari (Ita), Julien Quesne (Fra)
1330 Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Brett Rumford (Aus)
1340 Robert Rock, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Richie Ramsay
1350 Morten Orum Madsen (Den), Daniel Brooks, Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind)
1400 James Kingston (Rsa), Pierre Relecom (Bel), Johan Carlsson (Swe)
1410 Alessio Bruschi (Ita), Francesco Laporta (Ita), Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg)
1420 Sam Walker, Thomas Norret (Den), Adrian Otaegui (Spa)
1430 David Lipsky (USA), Phillip Archer, Edoardo Raffaele Lipparelli (x) (Ita)
Starting at hole 10
0730 Gary Stal (Fra), Magnus A Carlsson (Swe), Benjamin Rusch (x) (Swi)
0740 Roope Kakko (Fin), James Heath, James Hahn (USA)
0750 Richard Finch, Lee Slattery, Justin Walters (Rsa)
0800 Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Jin Jeong (Kor), Marcel Siem (Ger)
0810 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa), Marco Crespi (Ita), Tommy Fleetwood
0820 David Howell, Joost Luiten (Ned), Padraig Harrington
0830 Stephen Gallacher, Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Matteo Manassero (Ita)
0840 David Horsey, Felipe Aguilar (Chi), Peter Hanson (Swe)
0850 Andrea Pavan (Ita), Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Chris Wood
0900 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned), Mark Foster, Eduardo De La Riva (Spa)
0910 Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind), Oliver Fisher, Victor Riu (Fra)
0920 Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), Tom Lewis, Garrick Porteous
0930 David Higgins, Sihwan Kim (Kor), Alastair Forsyth
1230 Niccolo Ravano (Ita), Kristoffer Broberg (Swe), Lucas Bjerregaard (Den)
1240 Mathias Gronberg (Swe), Graeme Storm, Craig Lee
1250 Adam Gee, Jack Doherty, Michele Cea (x) (Ita)
1300 Federico Maccario (Ita), Keith Horne (Rsa), Peter Lawrie
1310 Jose-Filipe Lima (Por), Marco Bernardini (Ita), Wade Ormsby (Aus)
1320 Daniel Vancsik (Arg), Damien McGrane, David Drysdale
1330 Alessandro Tadini (Ita), Thomas Pieters (Bel), Daan Huizing (Ned)
1340 Jamie McLeary, Daniel Im (USA), Jose Manuel Lara (Spa)
1350 Hennie Otto (Rsa), Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind)
1400 Richard Bland, Kevin Phelan (USA), Peter Hedblom (Swe)
1410 Eddie Pepperell, Jbe Kruger (Rsa), Maximilian Kieffer (Ger)
1420 Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Simon Dyson, Ricardo Santos (Por)
1430 Jason Knutzon (USA), Edouard Dubois (Fra), Enrico Di Nitto (x) (Ita)
Much of the spotlight this week will be focused on Stephen Gallacher, who knows exactly what is needed if he is secure a dream Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles by right.
Stephen Gallacher needs a win or top-two finish to secure a Ryder Cup spot this week
The simplicity of the equation facing Gallacher could work in his favour and there is no doubt that such a carrot has inspired players in the past - just look back to Jamie Donaldson last week or Edoardo Molinari's fantastic late run of form in 2010 that saw him secure a wildcard.
But, despite a creditable top-10 in the Czech Republic last time out, Gallacher's form has been trending downwards rather than upwards in recent times and this will be his fifth consecutive week in action, having stayed on in the States to play the Wyndham Championship after the WGC-Bridgestone and US PGA.
His bid to pick up the ranking points required to clinch that final Ryder Cup spot has certainly been admirable, but this could well be one week too many and at 18/1 he looks opposable.
Market favourite Francesco Molinari (11/1) certainly has the course knowledge and pedigree to prevail here, but at almost twice the price his brother Edoardo (20/1) arguably makes a more attractive betting proposition given his progressive form figures.
However, it is with another high-class Italian that we will side with in the hope that a return to his homeland will help inspire Matteo Manassero back to his best.
Still only 21, Manassero has won in each of his last four seasons on the European Tour with a memorable success at Wentworth last year underlining just what a quality operator he is.
This season has been something of a struggle as he has looked to combine playing on both sides of the Atlantic for the first time with mixed results.
Matteo Manassero: The Italian is tipped to win his fifth European Tour event in five years
But he did post a top-20 at the Open, and a T4 in Scotland the week before, and his results in his home Open are encouraging having finished eighth in 2011 and third in 2012, while he was just three shots back going into the final round here 12 months ago before falling away into a tie for 42nd.
Manassero certainly possesses the accuracy to go well at this lay-out so back him to perform in front of his home fans at 25/1.
Another player who looks to have the attributes for this test is Felipe Aguilar who is available at 50/1.
The Chilean, who collected his second European Tour title in Singapore back in May, ranks 8th in driving accuracy and 6th for greens in regulation this year and was in the frame last year when he finished two back in a tie for fourth - he's worth an interest.
The final selection is another man who went close to victory in last year's renewal, England's Steve Webster (60/1).
The 39-year-old has posted some solid if unspectacular results since returning following an injury break a couple of months ago, making the cut in four of the five events he's entered.
He was well-placed in the Czech Republic last week before crumbling badly with a final round of 82 but, given his runner-up finish here 12 months ago, we'll overlook that and hope that returning to a country in which he posted one of his two career victories back in 2005 will give him good vibes.
Best bets (All prices with Sky Bet)
2pts e.w. Matteo Manassero at 25/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1.5pts e.w. Felipe Aguilar at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1.5pts e.w. Steve Webster at 60/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)