After a dramatic finale at last week’s BMW PGA Championship, we travel to Marco Simone Golf Club – host of the 2023 Ryder Cup – for this year’s Italian Open. It’s set to be a blockbuster event in the Eternal City, which will welcome the likes of Matthew Fitzpatrick, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, who are among those using the Italian Open to get a feel for the next Ryder Cup venue. Here are three picks for this week’s event that are to good to miss out on…
DS Automobiles Italian Open details
Venue: Marco Simone Golf Club, Rome, Italy
Date: September 15-18, 2022
Course stats: Par 72; 6,343 yards
Course summary: This challenging 18 hole Championship layout was set out by Jim Fazio in the late 1980s and lies in a beautiful old estate that belongs to fashion designer Laura Biagiotti. Expect to see immaculate greens, complex undulations and brilliant surfaces throughout the course.
Purse: $3 million
Defending champion: Nicolai Højgaard (-13)
Italian Open TV times
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 7:30am
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 7:30am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 7:30am
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 7:30am
Italian Open betting tips
The Banker: Min Woo Lee @ 40/1 with Bet365
Min Woo Lee is a player who has incredible upside, but the knock on him is that like many in his position he is not consistent enough. I will bank on that changing this week, as he returns to a course he finished 12th last year, and was the 36-hole leader.
Strong driving and short game should power a big week for him around this golf course, and with a run of events like Wentworth, this Italian Open and the Open De France and Dunhill Links, this is a really pivotal time to perform.
You don’t get this price often about Min Woo Lee now, when he returns to this event, and once Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Matt Fitzpatrick return to the PGA Tour, Min Woo Lee will shorten up again. Take the welcoming price on Lee while you can.
The Each-Way Play: Masahiro Kawamura @ 60/1 with Bet365
Kawamura is in a great run of form, finishing T22 or better in each of his past four events. He was 5th at this course last year, and I see no reason why he can’t at least repeat that performance this time around, given his recent efforts
We have seen him go close at the Cyprus Showdown on this Tour, where Robert MacIntyre was crowned champion and he was also 2nd at the Indian Open, losing by a single stroke to veteran, Stephen Gallagher.
Given his current form, and his 5th last year, he represents decent each way value for me.
The Long Shot: Matthew Southgate @ 110/1 with Bet365
Matthew Southgate represents what I think is the best value on the board this week, even if I don’t give him the clearest shot at winning. 20-1 to place seems huge for a player who has finished 23rd, 4th and 13t over his last three, and is striping the ball tee-to-green.
Southgate has ranked 13th, 5th and 4th in his last three in SG Approach, and 22nd, 11th and 10th in SG Tee To Green in that same span. This is a big run of ball striking form for the Englishman, who tends to save his best form for links golf.
This isn’t that this week, but he will have a bit more of a wider test than he did at Wentworth, which frees him up a bit off the tee, even if he doesn’t need it right now.
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