Matteo Manassero, Nino Bertasio, Edoardo Molinari and Renato Paratore have confirmed they will join fellow countryman Francesco Molinari at the Italian Open, the second Rolex Series event on the European Tour’s 2018 Race to Dubai, at Gardagolf Country Club from May 31-June 3.
The event, which returns to Gardagolf for the first time in 15 years, will be extra special for both Manassero and Bertasio, who represent the club as touring professionals.
Manassero learned to play the game at Gardagolf, which proved to be a phenomenal training ground for the Verona native who became the youngest winner in European Tour history when he took the 2010 Castelló Masters Costa Azahar at 17 years and 188 days of age – a record that still stands.
“I always look forward to the Italian Open,” said the four-time European Tour winner. “Especially with it being at my home club, it’s just great and I think I’m going to enjoy the week a lot.
“From Monday of that week, I’m just going to enjoy every moment and try to play as well as I can.”
Bertasio, who has also spent many years honing his game at Gardagolf is equally as excited about the unique opportunity to compete on familiar territory.
“It’s going to be a new experience. I’ve never played a tournament at my home golf course, so I think it is going to be a lot of fun,” Bertasio said. “It’s a very nice area. You’ve got the mountains, you’ve got Lake Garda, and it’s going to be beautiful at the end of May. I think a lot of players are looking forward to playing at Gardagolf.”
Molinari, who was part of the winning European team in The 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor along with his brother Francesco, has long been a favourite of the Italian crowds and will join his brother in returning for their national open, alongside Paratore who is keen to add another European Tour victory to his name.
Entry to the 75th Italian Open will be free for the members of the Italian Golf Federation and children under 16. Tickets for the event can be purchased online through TicketOne and Vivaticket, whilst also available for purchase on tournament days from Gardagolf Country Club.
Nestled between the famous Rocca di Manerba, Soiano Castle and the Valtenesi hills of Northern Italy, Gardagolf Country Club has produced some memorable golfing moments. It last hosted the Italian Open in 2003 where Sweden’s Mathias Grönberg claimed a two-stroke victory.
The Italian Open continues to flourish as one of the eight tournaments which form the prestigious Rolex Series— the premium category of tournaments on the European Tour’s International Schedule, all with a minimum prize fund of US$7 million.