Focus of attention this week in Europe is once again on the Ryder Cup, and in particular, Stephen Gallacher - 19.00. The Scot - who owns a fine record at Gleneagles - the track for the 2014 edition - needs a top two finish to secure automatic qualification for Paul McGinley's side via the World Points List, and follow in the footsteps of Welshman Jamie Donaldson who won in Prague last week.
Also looking to catch the European Ryder Cup Captain's attention with a big performance will be home favourite and market leader Francesco Molinari at 12.00, Scot Marc Warren - 21.00 - and the "Dutch Birdie Machine" Joost Luiten - 23.00 - who will be all vying for one of three possible picks.
The course - Circolo Golf Torino
Used in conjunction with Royal Park, and separately, for recent editions of the Piemonte Open on the Challenge Tour, we now return here for the second year running on the main circuit where Julien Quesne - 51.00 - will defend. The course itself is a shortish par 72 track playing approximately 7,200 yards. A tree-lined, parkland style course, emphasis is on accuracy from the tee to avoid generally dense and penal rough coupled with strategically placed fairway bunkering. Greens are large so approach shot accuracy will be key. They are set to run at just 11' on the stimpmeter.
Three from the pack
Big George Coetzee has been playing sparingly in 2014 after a return from a lengthy injury lay off. Recent progressive form of 41-18-17 for the South African before a missed cut at the PGA included one top 20 in the Open Championship and signs are promising. George is a notch above the majority of this field when on song and finally recorded his maiden European Tour victory at the turn of the year to lift a pressure monkey off his back. He's worth chancing at 41.00 or 9.00 the place.
Alexander Levy is one of a number of young promising French golfers to come onto the radar in recent times. Simmering currently with form of 12-35-21-58, this streak culminated in an impressive top 30 at the PGA Championship. Levy already grabbed his breakthrough win in China earlier in the year and has a handful of top fives to his name. He was 42nd on his debut at Golf Club Torino in 2013 and could be worth siding with at 41.00 or 9.00.
Steve Webster - 61.00 or 13.00 - was tipped up on the column last week and was hanging around the top 10 into the final day only to incur somewhat of a melt down. As mentioned last week, he's been simmering of late after injury and I'm willing to give the GIR machine one more go on a course he finished runner up on in 2013. One of the Englishman's two wins on tour also came in Italy so he may draw on some positive vibes this week.
A poor final round in his home event for Morten Orum Madsen leaves him at a very much inflated price for me this week - 151.00 or 26.00. Madsen impressed with his stick-ability over the first 54 in Denmark and was still in with a shout of winning two weeks ago before a poor Sunday sent him tumbling down the leaderboard. The big hitter could prove the big value in Italy.
Bet on the winner of the Open d'Italia here