Review & Betting Guide For The Open D’Italia

Stephen Gallacher © James Kennedy

Stephen Gallacher 20/1 © James Kennedy

Englishman John Morrison designed the original Blue course in 1956, ten years after Italy became a Republic in 1946, Circolo Golf Torino moved to the Parco Regionale La Mandria, which was the old hunting estate of the former ruling House of Savoy.

In the years that followed its grand opening, the course was extended to 27 holes and later to the current 36 holes, thanks to designs by Studio Harris and architects Marco Croze and Graham Cooke. The courses are divided into two tracks known as the Blue course and the Yellow.

A number of holes were renovated in the late 1990s by Canadian architect Graham Cook for the 1999 Italian Open, which was won by Dean Robertson. Cook has been involved in updating the green complexes as part of – in the words of the club – a master renovation plan.

Ancient trees surround both courses, which are classic parkland courses laid out over gently undulating terrain with plenty of trees and bunkers. They both have the same number of natural water hazards, such as streams and ponds and this is typified on the Blue courses 171-yard par 3 13th hole, where the raised green is framed on three sides by trees and protected in front by both sand and water.

Graham Cooke course architect summarised his changes by stating, “I was very pleased with the results and the members and professionals who came to the Open were charmed by the new, more expressive, appearance of the course. This project demonstrated that accent mounds, properly sculptured can impart an older feel to an established course. It is my firm belief that the original architect would have been pleased at the results and would have embarked on a similar look had he had the material or budget when the course was originally built.”

Joost Luiten

Joost Luiten 25/1 © Kevin Murray

My tips to win:

I am going to stick with several picks from last week simply because this is the last chance for players to shine before the European Ryder Cup Captain, Paul McGinley picks his three wild card players, and Stephen Gallacher 20/1 will be looking to improve on last week’s form. Stephen finished the Czech Masters in the Top 10 but a final round 73 didn’t really do him any favours, and I think that only a win will push Gallacher into the European team.

Another player who didn’t do himself any favours and one I know Captain McGinley would love in his team is Joost Luiten 25/1. As I said last week, Joost is a very aggressive player and could prove to be a fantastic Ryder Cup player, but like Gallacher I think only a win here this week will give him a chance of forcing his way into that team.

I think last week’s missed cut at the Czech Masters by Bernd Wiesberger 28/1 with PaddyPower was more of a reaction to the way he fell away when in contention for his first major championship at USPGA two weeks ago, than the state of his golf game. And it’s striking to see that after recent missed cuts this year, the Austrian has recovered to have three Top 20 finishes, two of those were Top 10’s, but – two of those have also seen a missed cut the following week as well. And apart from his great ball striking skills and short game, I am also working on the fact that Bernd has won at least two events in even years since he turned professional!!

Bernd Wiesberger 28/1 © James Kennedy

Bernd Wiesberger 28/1 © James Kennedy

My each-way tips:

I am also going to stick with Eddie Pepperell 45/1 with StanJames but for different reasons than the Ryder Cup. Eddie finished last week’s Czech Masters in great form firing a final round 67, which was the second best score of the day and saw him storm up the leaderboard into the Top 5, his second such finish in two weeks. Pepperell hasn’t won on the European Tour as yet, but I don’t think it’s going to be too long before that stat changes.

And another player that I think is on the point of doing well again is Felipe Aguilar 55/1 with BetFred. Felipe had a win earlier in the year at the Laguna National and followed that up with a Top 10 finish at the Open de España, so he has the game to win. And three finishes in the Top 26 from his last four tournaments, I think the Chilean isn’t far away from challenging again.

One of the reasons I am not going for an outside tip this week is because I feel there are three strong each-way tips this week and the third of those is Romain Wattel 50/1. It has been four years since the Frenchman turned professional and I must admit I am surprised that he has not won a European Tour event yet. Romain has been knocking on the door and I think like Eddie it’s not going to be long before we see him winning an event.

For updated betting odds during the tournament go to

TOPICS: Golf, Golf on the Web, Off course, Tournament reviews and betting guides

ABOUT: James Mason

James Mason is a contributing writer for Golf Monthly magazine, producing destination reviews, technical and equipment reviews and blogs. He was also part of the judging panel for the 2010 Top 100 courses in Great Britain and Ireland. James has written equipment reviews and technical features for Greenside magazine, destination features for Golf World and Going for Golf magazines and interviews for Middle East Golfer.

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