Italian Open Preview : Fitzpatrick Has The Right Skills Profile For Italy
Event Venue: Golf Club Milano Parco Reale Di Monza , Thursday October 12th at 6am. Live on Sky Sports.See Stats
The host course for this week’s Italian Open on the European Tour puts a premium on accuracy over distance and on that basis Matthew Fitzpatrick is a leading contender. The English player excels when straight hitting is more important than length so he can win the fifth professional tournament of his career in Milan this week. You can back him this week with a bookmaker golf free bet.
Fitzpatrick had an outstanding amateur career, winning the Boys Championship in 2012 and the US Amateur the following year when he was the leading non-professional in the Open Championship. He played in the 2016 Ryder Cup and is now established as a leading professional on the European Tour.
The Italian Open is part of the Rolex Series which features eight lucrative tournaments with generous prize funds. The money on offer has attracted a decent field in including Jon Rahm, fifth in the world rankings, and Sergio Garcia who won the US Masters in April. Tyrrell Hatton won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship for the second year in a row last week and also plays in Italy.
The course in Milan is a par 72 track measuring less than 7,200 yards which is short by modern standards. The main attributes required for good scoring are driving accuracy, greens in regulation and putting average. Last year at this week’s host course the winning score in the Italian Open was 22 under.
Clearly hitting the ball a long way is not an advantage but low scoring is anticipated. Birdie conversion more than bogey avoidance is important and given that many players find greens consistently the event could become a putting contest. Fitzpatrick has all the bases covered for a course of this nature and can be backed at 20/1 with Ladbrokes who pay one quarter the odds for five places.
The Spanish due of Rahm and Garcia will get plenty of betting support but they have had long seasons and achieved many objectives. The hunger may not be there to stay focused in a regular tournament in Europe. Tommy Fleetwood leads the Race to Dubai by a mile but was disappointing over the last two rounds of the Links Championship in Scotland last week.
The defending champion is Francesco Molinari (14/1 with William Hill) who also won the event in 2006 on a different course. The Italian Open has a history of producing multiple champions but there has not been a three-time winner since 1955. Molinari hits fairways and greens for fun and is a leading contender again. He will have plenty of support in the crowd and that can inspire him to get in the mix again in the country of his birth.
Fitzpatrick has the better all-round game and scores well for the key skills. He is currently seventh for driving accuracy, a top 25 player for greens in regulation and in the top 30 for putting after hitting the greens in the correct number of shots. Rarely for a professional he is also in the top 50 for driving distance which comes in handy on courses with four par 5s. FITZPATRICK is just about the complete player with few weaknesses so can win the 2017 Italian Open.
MATTHEW FITZPATRICK ticks lots of boxes for the Italian Open.
- The tournament was first played in 2016 and there have been 10 multiple champions.
- It has been part of the European Tour since it began in 1972.
- The average winning score over the last 10 years is 19 under.
- There have been two playoffs in that spell and four winning margins of one shot.
- Seven English players have been runner-up or joint runner-up since 2007.
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