It's yet another new venue in Europe as Golf Club Milano takes centre stage for the Open D'Italia. Marco Crespi - 201.0 - has given us the lowdown on his home course, where he describes the rough as punitive in places on a woodland style track. It was Hennio Otto - 176.0 - who won the event last year, held at the Circolo Golf Torino. The 2015 field in Milan is spearheaded by Martin Kaymer - 13.00 - and home favourite Francesco Molinari - 12.00 - who bids for his second Italian Open Trophy.
The course - Golf Club Milano
Golf Club Milano is a woodland style deeply tree-lined track equipped with doglegs. It measures 7,169 yards and plays to a par of 72. Demanding par 3s are a key feature with three of the short holes stretching in excess of 200 yards. Strategic bunkering lines the fairways and surrounds the greens, many of which are elevated and tiered.
Golf Club Milano is a lush course with pure surfaces of which some are severely sloping and "well-guarded". Crespi mentions distance control into the greens more than once in his interview. This added to the punishing rough and doglegs will place emphasis on precision over power while proximity with the irons and wedges looks to be the premium.
Three from the pack
Horses for courses, and Bernd Wiesberger - 15.00 or 4.00 - is becoming renowned as one of the best ball strikers in the game on both sides of the water. There are arguably not many courses on the schedule better suited to showcasing your ball striking talents than Le Golf National - Ryder Cup 2018 venue, and Wiesberger was your winner there earlier in the year, blitzing the field with a -13 Open De France total. He boasted a GIR% clip of 81.9% that week en route to victory on the tough layout in France.
Robert Rock - 67.00 or 14.00 - has been progressing nicely of late and simmering since a T3 in Austria. He tied for 23rd in Holland, opening with a 63. He's relatively both long and straight from the tees with a clip of 60.82 in the driving accuracy department, while his stats show an average of 292.77 yards from the tips and just under 73% GIR. He was eighth in the latter stat at the KLM Open, while he ranked 32nd in putts per GIR which is generally the weak part of the Englishman's game.
David Lipsky - 81.00 or 17.00 - was on top of his form at this stage last season when he won the Omega European Masters and he looks like he's peaking once again with a host of top 25 finishes lately. 10 of Lipsky's last 16 rounds on European soil have been in the 60s. The American wrapped up in Holland last week with a 63 where he topped the putts per round stats at the KLM Open. Only a second round 71 halted Lipsky's challenge and on a course more suited to David's game this week, we may see him string 4 rounds together at a lumpy price.
A guy who has been somewhat in the golfing doldrums of late is on the radar this week and Thorbjorn Olesen - 81.00 or 17.00 - bounced back into form from nowhere at the Czech Masters recording a T5. He missed the cut at the KLM Open but shot two rounds of level par on a Kennemer course that on paper I wouldn't have thought really suited; Golf Club Milano should be more up the Dane's street. Olesen recorded his maiden success at Verdura Golf and Spa resort on the Island of Sicily and traveling back to this region certainly won't hurt him mentally.