Starts: 2nd September 2021
Course: Marco Simone Golf Club, Italy
Length: 7,268 yards
2020 Champion: Ross McGowan
Overall Profit/Loss: -17.5pts
Pre-Event Bets: -9pts
1pt Each Way Sam Horsfield 45/1 @ Skybet (1/5 1-7)
1pt Each Way Joost Luiten 60/1 @ Betfred (1/5 1-7)
0.75pts Each Way Callum Shinkwin 80/1 @ Unibet (1/5 1-6)
0.5pts Each Way Brandon Stone 125/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-7)
0.5pts Each Way Wilco Nienaber 200/1 @ Unibet (1/5 1-6)
1.5pts Gavin Green to finish TOP 20 14/1 @ Paddy Power
In-Play Bets: -8.5pts
2 September 2021(-3pts)
0.5pts Each Way Victor Dubuisson 150/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
1pt Each Way Edoardo Molinari 2nd Round Leader 12/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-4)
3 September 2021(-4pts)
1.5pts Each Way Mikko Korhonen 12/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-4)
5 September 2021(-1.5pts)
1.5pts Win Only Min Woo Lee 12/1 @ Betfair
Designer: European Golf Design
Used Since: First time hosting
Water Hazards: On 10 holes
Premium on: Driving
Continue to exercise caution in relation to Covid-19 related withdrawals.
This is the first time this course has been used for a European Tour event since it underwent a re-design ahead of the Ryder Cup in 2023.
European Golf Design, the firm tasked with the re-design, were also responsible for the 2010 course at Celtic Manor, Green Eagle Golf (Nord) and Le Golf National.
The course did host the Italian Open in 1994 but we are placing little emphasis on that given the changes.
Warm and sunny with a max wind speed of 9mph.
Possible rain showers in the afternoon with a max wind speed of 10mph.
Sunny intervals with a max wind speed of 9mph.
Warm and sunny with a max wind speed of 10mph.
With this course yet to host a European Tour event since undergoing significant renovation, we do not have any trends to draw upon.
Italian Open In-Play Blog
5th September 2021, 08.10am (UK time)
|M W Lee||-10|
Nicolai Hojgaard now tops the leaderboard following a best of the day 65. An excellent tee shot at the driveable par 4 16th hole left him with a few feet for eagle and he would par the last couple of holes for the lead.
The young Dane is hoping to emulate his twin brother, Rasmus, who claimed the Omega European Masters last week. Rasmus has three wins on the European Tour whilst Nicolai has yet to win and the less accomplished brother will be hoping to get off the mark this afternoon.
Although yet on Tour, Nicolai did win the European Amateur Championship and was impressive when chasing down Sergio Garcia at the 2019 KLM Open. However, this is a significant step up and even proven winners can struggle when leading. We only have to look to how Rasmus performed when leading the Cazoo Classic.
Hojgaard must fend off the challenge of Tommy Fleetwood if he is to make the breakthrough. The Englishman is a shot behind and rated as the 2/1 favourite with the bookmakers. We mentioned his ability to shoot a low final round in yesterday's blog and we were hoping he would have been further back and a bigger price.
However, odds of 2/1 don't interest us. His missed par putt in the playoff at the Scottish Open last year is etched in our memory and whilst we rate him from off the pace, we don't want to get involved at those kind of odds.
Daniel Van Tonder (4/1) sits alongside Fleetwood at 12 under par. A bogey at the last hole yesterday saw him slip out of the lead but we should remember he won the Kenya Savannah Classic with a final round 64. He won four times on the Sunshine Tour in 2020 so he certainly knows how to get the job done.
The final round will be played in warm and dry conditions. The wind will pick up to 9mph for the leaders.
Round 4 Bet
- 1.5pts WIN ONLY Min Woo Lee 12/1 @ Betfair
Yesterday's bet, Mikko Korhonen, is two shots off the pace and in reasonable shape heading into the final round. We want to add Min Woo Lee to the staking plan. Lee had a disappointing day yesterday, slipping three shots behind. However, he played nicely the first two days and odds of 12/1 are worth chancing for a return to that level of performance in round 4. He trails by three shots and that's the same deficit he turned around at the Scottish Open in July. A two time winner on the European Tour, he's more than capable of winning again today.
3rd September 2021, 10.25pm (UK time)
|M W Lee||-10|
Min Woo Lee leads by two strokes at the Italian Open.
This is the first time Lee has held a 36 hole lead on the European Tour but he's worthy favourite. He ranks 3rd SG: Off The Tee and 17th SG: Approach. The recent win in Scotland has certainly given him confidence and with his long game firing, he's on course to make it two wins for the season.
That said, odds of 10/3 are too skinny for us with 36 holes to go, especially considering the quality of players tucked in behind. Seven of the nine players within three shots have won on the European Tour before and five of those have won on at least two occasions.
One of those players, Tommy Fleetwood, is priced up as 2nd favourite at 4/1. Fleetwood hasn't won since November 2019 but is at his most dangerous when coming from behind. His last three wins have come via final rounds of 65-65-66 and we'd prefer to leave him out the staking plan for the time being and look to get him at a bigger price tomorrow.
The third round will start earlier than normal due to a potential thunderstorm later in the afternoon. The wind will pick up to 9mph for the leaders.
Round 3 Bet
- 1.5pts Each Way Mikko Korhonen 12/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-4)
Mikko was on our shortlist for this pre-event due to his 3rd place finish at the Cazoo Open at Celtic Manor in July. He's nicely placed going into the weekend and it bodes well that he's only dropped one stroke through the opening rounds. A two time winner on Tour, he's been close to a third career win this season (3rd place finishes at the Betfred British Masters and Cazoo Open). Mikko could well follow the trend of recent winners who have been in contention in the weeks prior to their win.
2nd September 2021, 9.05pm (UK time)
|M W Lee||-7|
Softer greens saw morning starters dominate the top of the leaderboard, eight of the top 10 having played teed off early. Edoardo Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood were the only two players capable of posting a score of -5 or better.
Fleetwood now finds himself 6/1 favourite. It's been an incredibly quiet year for the Englishman, with only two top 10s and without a top 10 anywhere since March. He's certainly capable of winning this week but with a lack of recent contention experience and almost two years since a win, we're happy to overlook him.
Closely following the Englishman in the betting is Henrik Stenson (13/2). The Swede has been in fine form the past two weeks, having finished 3rd and 4th. A fine day with his irons (2nd SG: Approach) was the key to his success and it very much feels like he's knocking on the door of a win.
The only other player priced up at single figures is Min Woo Lee (13/2). The hugely talented youngster won the Scottish Open in July and he stated in his post round interview how that has given him belief. Second in SG: Off The Tee and 19th SG: Approach in round one, his long game was firing and he too has to be respected.
We'll see a dry day tomorrow with temperatures touching 29 degrees celcius. The wind will pick up to 10mph in the afternoon.
Round 2 Bets
- 0.5pts Each Way Victor Dubuisson 150/1 @ Bet365 (1/5 1-5)
It's been a quiet few years for the enigmatic Frenchman. As low as world number 17 in early 2015, a combination of injuries and other interests have seen him slide down the world rankings. However, he's a very talented player on his day and just three starts ago he was 4th at the BMW International. An opening round of 70 sees him six shots off the pace but a morning tee time will see him have the best of conditions and he can progress up the leaderboard over the next three days.
- 1pt Each Way Edoardo Molinari 2nd Round Leader 12/1 @ Betfair (1/5 1-4)
Edoardo had a hole in one on his way to a round of 65 in round one. That was the best score of the players out in the afternoon and he'll have the chance to set the clubhouse target tomorrow morning. The Italian has a couple of top 10s to his name already this season and notably his 2nd place finish at the Porsche European Masters was achieved with a 65 in round 2. Odds of 12/1 are fair for him to top the leaderboard come Friday evening.