AFTER the Sixes last week it’s back to serious golf on the European Tour at the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.
The Verdura Golf Club is the host and although the prize fund is only one million euros the field is not a bad one.
There are two courses here (East and West). Both are on the coast and designed by Kyle Phillips, who also created Fife gem Kingsbarns.
It is a par 71 composite course among orange, lemon and olive groves, undulating fairways and deep bunkers. Although not a difficult course, as typical of a coastal layout if the wind is blowing who knows what will happen.
Stats to look for are distance off the tee and putting average
- COURSE: Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Agrigento, Sicily: Par 71, 7217 yards.
Since winning here last year Quiros has had a horrendous year until his second place finish at the Trophee Hassan II last month. In 19 events his highest finish before that was a T19 at the Qatar Masters in February.
In fact you have to go back to 2013 to find the last time he had two top-five finishes (I think I’m talking myself out of backing the Spaniard here)!
However, to my mind the aforementioned Qatar and Hassan II results show he is coming into some sort of form and as holder of the title will hopefully propel him to victory.
- Driving Distance: 300.3 yards (84th). Putting Average: 1.724 (23rd).
Italian Bertasio missed the cut here last year after hitting a second-round 64, only beaten by three other players. He is long off the tee and is a steady putter. Earlier in the season his T5 at the Maybank Championship, where he held the 36-hole lead, was his best result. He also hit a brilliant seven-under 65 in the first round of the Volvo China Open. One to watch this weekend.
- Driving Distance: 307.3 (36th). Putting Average: 1.72 (20th)
- 1.5pts ew Alvaro Quiros (30-1, Befred) – 6 places
1.5pts ew Nino Bertasio (40-1, Coral) – 7 places