The DP World Tour arrives back on European soil for this week's Italian Open at the Marco Simone Golf Club, Guidonia, Rome, Italy.
The global tour which visits all five continents covering 26 countries will remain in Europe over the next six months which includes visits to the British mainland and Ireland.
This week's Italian Open has been moved back a few months as the Marco Simone Golf Club will be the venue for this year's Ryder Cup in September and for that reason, a few of the big guns including Rory will be missing this week due to other commitments.
The 156 field with the top 65 including ties will all compete for a share of the $3.25M prize purse with the winner collecting the Italian Open title and a winner’s cheque for $541,775.
Robert MacIntyre will return to Italy attempting to defend the title he won here last year when beating Matt Fitzpatrick in a playoff. His winning scorecard read 270,- 14.
The Marco Simone Golf Club will be playing 7,255 yards long this week, it’s a stunning par 71 parkland layout which will definitely excite the big hitters with reachable greens on a couple of the par 4 holes.
The weather is forecast to be mainly sunny and pleasant throughout with temperatures in the mid-20s. Breezes will peak at no more than 10mph.
This event will be screened on Sky Sports Golf & Sky Sports Main Event with live coverage starting at 1 pm on Thursday afternoon.
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Robert MacIntyre 20/1 EW Boylesports 1-8 places
For my first and main selection in Rome this week I’m going to stick with the defending champion Robert MacIntyre 20/1 EW Boylesports 1-8 places.
Now I’m fully aware that I picked one of my favourites last week to win in Korea where it was looking so good going into Sunday's final round where he led the way but again he faltered and opened the door for Pablo Larrazabal to pounce and the Spaniard duly obliged.
Bob's game at the moment is good but I’m sure he’d be the first to admit that some fine tuning is required especially to eradicate the bogeys or worse that spoil all that good work. The young 26-year-old Scot from the Gateway to the Highlands has all the talent to go on and become one of the all-time greats and I’m sure plenty more titles await this talented kid, hopefully a major.
He eventually finished in 7th place at the Korea Championship last weekend to make that three Top 10 finishes in a row, he looked the most likely winner last weekend but Bob can put all that behind him as he returns to familiar surroundings at a venue he clearly adores.
He has conquered this stunning layout before where he holds the 72-hole course and 18-hole records.
I’m sticking with Robert MacIntyre this week to use all that fine recent form to successfully defend his title and let the world know he’s ready to take his place in this year's Ryder Cup team around this same venue in September.
Jorge Campillo 35/1 EW Betfred 1-7 places
For my next best selection to win the Italian Open, I’m going to single out a player who I can’t ignore as he’s flashing up all over the radar, Jorge Campillo 35/1 EW Betfred 1-7 places.
Just check this out if you're still pondering.
The 36-year-old Spaniard from Caceres has finished inside the Top 10 in his last four attempts which includes a victory.
T3rd last time out at the Korea Championship, T9th ISPS Championship, T4th Hero Indian Open and winner at the Magical Kenya Open. In just a matter of weeks, he's back to land a hat-trick of DP World Tour crowns.
You simply cannot ignore this truly phenomenal wave of form that the experienced Spaniard is riding at the moment. If that’s not enough to tempt you then what about yet another Top 10 finish here last year when Campillo finished in 9th place, he can also back that up with T7th at this event in 2016.
I’m just doing some adding up here and it all amounts to yet another fine performance from Jorge Campillo where if not victorious then surely a place seems realistic for a tidy profit for all you Each Way backers.
Adrian Meronk 20/1 Ladbrokes 1-7 places
For my final outright pick in Italy, I’m going to point you all in the direction of Adrian Meronk 20/1 Ladbrokes 1-7 places.
The 29-year-old from Poland is again one of the highest-ranked players in the field this week and can use that ranking to his advantage around the Marco Simone Golf Club, if it wasn’t for a slow start in Korea his 21st place last weekend could have been much better.
This venue will definitely suit Meronk with his long ball game. The Pole finished runner-up at this event in 2021 to eventual winner Nicolai Hojgaard and can go one better this time around. Meronk has been gaining some valuable experience over on the PGA Tour recently where he finished 14th at the Honda Classic and 17th at the WGC Dell Technologies Matchplay.
He won the Australian PGA at the end of last year and has since finished 4th at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship. Meronk is a class act in this field and he can make all that class show as he adds the Italian Open to his collection this coming Sunday in the sunshine on the outskirts of Rome.
He could be the gladiator at the Marco Simone Colosseum.
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