Italian Open 2024 Tips: Jamie’s five for the Adriatic Coast

 | Tuesday 25th June 2024, 11:20am

Tuesday 25th June 2024, 11:20am

Jamie DP World

Guido Migliozzi recorded his fourth DP World Tour win in the KLM Open last week, beating the continually-impressive Joe Dean and spirited Swede, Marcus Kinhult in a playoff.

The Italian will be desperate to keep the positivity flowing this week, as the DPWT heads to Italy for the Italian Open at Adriatic Golf Club Cervia.

As always, here is Jamie Worsley with his Italian Open Tips, including five selections ranging from 35/1 to 125/1...

Italian Open Betting Tips

  • 1.5 pts Calum Hill each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 35/1
  • 1.25 pts Yannik Paul each way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 40/1
  • 1.25 pts Sam Bairstow each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 45/1
  • 1 pt Connor Syme each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 50/1
  • 1 pt Angel Hidalgo each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 125/1

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

The Italian Open was first played in 1925 and took place sporadically thereafter, before becoming a mainstay on the DPWT schedule since the tour’s inception in 1972.

France’s Auguste Boyer and Flory Van Donck of Belgium are the most successful players in the history of the event, with four wins apiece. Although, all of their victories came in the pre-DPWT days.

Nobody has reached that tally in the modern era, with the following seven players all tied on two wins each: Sandy Lyle (1984, 1992), Sam Torrance (1987, 1995), Bernhard Langer (1983, 1997), Ian Poulter (2000, 2002), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (2007, 2012), Hennie Otto (2008, 2014) and Francesco Molinari (2006, 2016).

Francesco Molinari’s two wins have been the only triumphs for home players since 1980 and in that time, he’s also the only player to finish runner-up, as he did in 2018.

Last five winners:

  • 2023 – Winner: Adrian Meronk (-13); runner-up: Romain Langasque (-12)
  • 2022 – Winner: Robert MacIntyre (-14, playoff); runner-up: Matt Fitzpatrick (-14)
  • 2021 – Winner: Nicolai Hojgaard (-13); runners-up: Tommy Fleetwood, Adrian Meronk (-12)
  • 2020 – Winner: Ross McGowan (-20); runners-up: Laurie Canter, Nicolas Colsaerts (-19)
  • 2019 – Winner: Bernd Wiesberger (-16); runner-up: Matt Fitzpatrick (-15)

Adrian Meronk took the title last year, with a victory that he’d have hoped would earn him a spot on the European Ryder Cup team later that year, at the same venue. That didn’t quite work out and after his subsequent move to LIV, he does not return to defend this week.

THE COURSE

The Italian Open rarely stays in the same place too long and after three years at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club we’re on the move again.

For the first time in the event’s history, Adriatic Golf Club Cervio – a 27-hole course located just south of the city of Ravenna on Italy’s Adriatic Coast - will take up hosting duties.

The course consists of three distinct nines. The Red Course was the first to be build in 1986 at the hands of architect Marco Croze, who then completed the Blue Course the following year. The third, Yellow Course was designed in 2004 and is a collaboration between pro golfer, Baldovino Dassu and architect, Alvise Rossi Fioravanti.

This week’s combination will see the players tackle the Yellow Course on the front nine, before playing the original Red Course as the back nine. There will be one small change from the usual setup there, with the par 5 15th converted to a lengthy par 4 for this week.

That leaves us with a short par 70, measuring 6965 yards. There are 12x par 4s (350-507 yards), 4x par 3s (155-206 yards) and 2x par 5s (553-619 yards).

There are many similarities between the two nines but also many differences.

The front nine has been described as being “inspired by Scottish links”  and is more open, with only a few tree-lined holes and water in-play on seven of them.

In contrast, the back nine has been built in dense pinewood, which frames every hole and looks claustrophobic in places, especially when it encircles the putting surfaces. Whilst it doesn’t feature water in-play at any point.

Having said that, all holes at the course use bermudagrass and feature narrow, often doglegging fairways and small, undulating greens. Smart bunkering lines the fairways across the 18 holes and litters the surrounds of the putting surfaces.

Information overall is a little thin on the ground and it’s difficult to know with certainty how the course will play. The front nine is packed with watery danger and whilst that same threat is non-existent on the back nine, there are a couple of out-of-bounds areas.

However, with several short par 4s, including two that are potentially drivable, and par 3s that don’t look all that intimidating, there does appear to be plenty of birdie chances if players can keep the ball in-play.

THE WEATHER

There’s a lot of rain in the forecast in the build up to the event. That should soften up the course and help players in navigating those fairways and greens at the start of the tournament.

Although, it is forecast to disappear before Thursday and throughout the tournament days conditions are predicted to be warm, sunny and clear. A constant mild breeze and gusty winds of 20mph could help firm the course up over the weekend if desired.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Approach/Greens-in-Regulation
  • SG: Around-the-Greens/Scrambling
  • Driving Accuracy
  • Par 4 Scoring

Whether the course plays tough or easy, these small putting surfaces will likely mean that quality iron play is the most important asset to have this week.

That being said, players are bound to miss their fair share and will most probably need to display a good scrambling ability.

It doesn’t appear to be a course that will be easily overpowered. Narrow fairways and a short yardage should allow those less powerful but ultra-accurate drivers to contend. Though I wouldn’t dismiss bigger hitters, as I’d expect them to be clubbing down for position on many of these holes.

Finally, with 12 par 4s at the course, some short and scoreable and a few more difficult, it’s play on these holes that will decide the outcome of this week’s Italian Open.

CORRELATING EVENTS

It’s not easy to find correlating events for an unfamiliar course for which we have no form-ties. Though I have come up with a handful of venues that share some of the same characteristics and could be worth a look this week.

Host of the 2020 Irish Open and ISPS Handa World Invitational from 2021-2023, Galgorm Castle Golf Club is a densely tree-lined course with narrow fairways and small greens. Similar attributes it shares with sometimes Kenya Open host, Karen Country Club.

Soudal Open host, Rinkven International and Crans-sur-Sierre, home of the Omega European Masters are two further courses that could give us a helping hand, with both tree-lined, possessing small greens and similar in length to this week’s challenge.

Though the quirky Valderrama - former host of the Andalucia Masters - isn’t easy to correlate with other courses, it is another tree-lined course with small greens and I also though it may be worth looking at this year’s host of the Scandinavian Mixed just a few weeks ago, Vasatorps Golfklubb. It is a course that flip-flops between densely tree-lined and more open, “linksy” holes and has relatively small greens.

THE FIELD

Patrick Reed is a surprise invite this week and will make his Italian Open debut. At #102 in the world, he is the highest-ranked player in the field, followed closely by #103 Rikuya Hoshino and #104 Jordan Smith.

We have no defending champion this week or indeed any of the previous three winners in attendance. 2020 winner, Ross McGowan is the most recent winner set to tee it up and he is joined by Bernd Wiesberger (2019), Rikard Karlberg (2015), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (2012, 2007) and Gregory Havret (2001).

Last week’s KLM Open winner, Guido Migliozzi is the top-ranked Italian in the field, with Matteo Manassero and Andrea Pavan adding some more depth to the home contingent. Whilst former #30 amateur, Filippo Celli will be hoping to build on his season’s-best 10th-place finish last week.

Italian Open Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Italian Open market on Betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this tournament

SELECTIONS

Market leaders: Patrick Reed 12/1, Tom McKibbin 14/1, Bernd Wiesberger 16/1, Laurie Canter 20/1, Jordan Smith 22/1, Richard Mansell 22/1, Guido Migliozzi 22/1

Patrick Reed is the clear star of the field and achieved his best LIV finish of the season two starts ago in Houston, finishing 3rd. That being said, he’s still winless since jumping ship and with form there hard to weigh up, he’s easily opposed.

Calum Hill was excellent when was last saw him in the Scandinavian Mixed three weeks ago, and with this week’s course looking a good fit, he goes in as the headline selection in Italy.

1.5 pts Calum Hill each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 35/1

Hill has been in consistent form right from the get-go in 2024, missing just one cut across his 12 starts so far. Though his three best performances have each come over his last three starts.

He recorded his first top-20 of the year three starts ago in the Soudal Open, finishing 18th and improved on that the following week with a 13th-place finish in European Open. Then came that terrific performance in Sweden, where he finished 2nd to Linn Grant and in doing so, produced his best finish on tour since winning the Cazoo Classic in 2021.

The Scot has largely been relying on the short game this year and ranks a handy 5th in scrambling. However, that runner-up finish last time out was the result of him at last finding some form with his irons, ranking 13th in greens-in-regulation and 21st in approach.

That is a result that should serve Hill well at Adriatic Golf Club and with further positive comp form on offer in the way of 3rd and 8th-place finishes at Karen CC; a 7th in the Omega European Masters; as well as a victory at Galgorm Castle on the Challenge Tour in 2018, this looks a good spot for him to continue that trending recent form and record his second tour win.

1.25 pts Yannik Paul each way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 40/1

Yannik Paul is one of the strongest iron players on tour and looks out to a very tempting price this week, considering his recent form has been perfectly solid.

He has only missed two cuts in 12 starts this season and began the year with a couple of top-10s in the Middle East, with a 4th-place finish in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship rating as his best effort of the year so far.

His first missed cut came courtesy of a poor second round in Singapore but he bounced back immediately with a 10th-place finish in India the following week, before finishing 11th in the weather-shortened China Open two starts later.

Paul did produce one of the worst performances of his pro career in the Soudal Open three starts ago, finishing fifth-last in the entire field but there doesn’t look to be any real hangover. He came out and finished 30th in the European Open the following week and was 39th in the Scandinavian Mixed when we last saw him, where he looked good in approach.

That strong approach performance shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the German ranks 12th on tour in this area in 2024 and he also hits plenty of greens, ranking 10th in greens-in-regulation.

Despite performing poorly there this year, Paul was an excellent 2nd in the 2022 Soudal Open, which could be a good sign for this test. He’s also hit the top-25 in each of his solo visits to Crans and Valderrama, and finishing no worse than 27th in his two Italian Open efforts to date, he should relish a return to the country this week.

1.25 pts Sam Bairstow each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 45/1

Sam Bairstow is the seventh-best player in this field based on recent play and though missing his last two cuts, there were huge positives to be taken from his last start in the US Open. Which he can use to spur him on to a first DPWT victory this week.

Bairstow has hit the top-25 on eight occasions across 13 starts on tour this year, going best when 3rd in the Singapore Classic.

It’s easy to make excuses for those two recent missed cuts. The first came at Green Eagle in the European Open – a huge, watery venue that often sees players head for the exit doors early – and his next one came in the highly-demanding US Open at Pinehurst, though there was a lot to like about his performance there.

Bairstow understandably endured a torrid time in the opening round, firing a 14-over-par 84 to sit dead last of the 156 players after day one. He then completed one of the biggest turnarounds in the recent history of the event, signing for a 3-under 67 in round two – the second-best score of the day. Whilst not enough to make the cut, it showed a great deal of mental strength to respond in that manner and proved he does have the game to perform well on a brutally difficult US Open test.

That second round performance was the result of quality right across his game and that has been his performances in his rookie DPWT season in a nutshell. He’s gaining strokes in every area and over the last fifty rounds, he ranks 7th in this field in strokes-gained total.

Bairstow’s all-round game has taken him to quality performances on a variety of courses this year, from a 10th-place finish at the short and heavily tree-lined Rinkven in the Soudal Open, to a 13th-place finish in the longer and exposed Doha Golf Club in the Qatar Masters. With further proof of his ability on short, tree-lined venues on offer courtesy of his victory in last year’s Scottish Challenge at Newmacher Golf Club, he looks to have every chance of another top performance this week.

1 pt Connor Syme each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 50/1

Connor Syme’s results haven’t been quite as impressive in recent starts as they were earlier in the season. Having said that, he hasn’t been all that far away and with some excellent comp form suggesting this week’s course will suit, I’m taking him to reproduce some of that early-season form this week.

Syme was playing solidly in the Middle East at the start of the year but really burst into life when the tour landed in Africa, recording finishes of 7th in the Kenya Open, 4th in the SDC Championship and 8th in the Jonsson Workwear Open in consecutive weeks.

He then missed a couple of cuts when we headed to East Asia but found somewhat of a return to form when we returned to Europe for the first time this year, finishing 34th in the Soudal Open and 22nd in the European Open. Before a disappointing missed cut in the Scandinavian Mixed when we last saw him.

Syme has been striking the ball well and looked good with his irons in the European Open, though it is with the short game that he is excelling most this year, with a ranking of 7th in scrambling a particular standout.

Having recorded finishes of 2nd and 4th at Galgorm Castle; 3rd-place finishes in the Omega European Masters and the Kenya Open at Karen CC; as well as a top-10 at Valderrama, his collection of comp form is as strong as anyone’s and should help him to get in the mix this week.

1 pt Angel Hidalgo each-way (1/5 - 8 places) @ 125/1

Spain’s Angel Hidalgo has been very consistent since the beginning of March and currently hitting the ball better than he ever has on tour, I’m taking him to earn a breakthrough DPWT win in Italy.

Hidalgo finished 9th on his second start of the year in the Ras Al Khaimah Championship but followed with three straight missed cuts. However, since then, he’s only missed one of his last 10 – narrowly so in the China Open – and recorded his best finish of the year when 5th in the Jonsson Workwear Open. He’s been rock-solid over his most recent starts, coming in with form figures of 22-67-33-27 and I expect him to keep that going here.

The main reason for the consistency this year has been the gains he’s made off-the-tee. Having ranked in the 100s in each of the last two years, he has been both more accurate than usual (ranking 25th in driving accuracy) and added some power, meaning he ranks 20th on tour off-the-tee this season. He’s also hitting his irons better and finding far more greens; when we combine this with his usual quality with the short game, we see a very attractive statistical profile developing for this one-time 14th-ranked amateur.

A 4th-place finish at Valderrama in 2022 may be a good pointer for this week, as could three consecutive top-25s in the Soudal Open and two top-20s at Galgorm Castle. If Hidalgo is able to keep up the improved ball-striking and replicate the very best of his short game from previous seasons, he’s a player I’d expect to breakthrough on the DPWT sooner rather than later, and with this venue a good fit, it could well be this week.

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

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