Jack Green's golf tips for this week's Rolex Series event on the European Tour include a player to win, an each-way shout and an outside shot.
Back to win: Francesco Molinari
A week after Jon Rahm won the Open de España, it’s worth backing another European Ryder Cup hero to triumph in their home country.
Molinari has a great record in the Italian Open. He has won it twice in his career and finished inside the top six in each of the past three years.
The world No. 11 hasn’t been in great form, finishing T14 and T23 in his last two starts, although he was on a T36-T22-T47-MC run when he last triumphed at this event in 2016.
Justin Rose has a poor record in Italy and Paul Casey has never played in this event before, so Molinari looks the best bet at the top of the market.
Each-way shout: Andrea Pavan
Pavan is another Italian with a great chance of a home win this week.
The 30-year-old finished T12 at last week’s Spanish Open and has now finished inside the top 20 in five of his last six starts – a run that includes a T3 at the Czech Masters and T10 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Pavan has already won once this year, beating Matthew Fitzpatrick in a play-off at the BMW International Open in June to earn his second European Tour victory since August 2018.
The Rome native missed the cut at this event last year but he’s in cracking form and will have plenty of support at Olgiata.
Outside shot: Jordan Smith
Smith has finished T21 and T8 in his two Italian Open starts to date and looks poised for another good result this week.
The Englishman has had a strange year, mixing missed cuts with five top-seven finishes, one of which came in his last start at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship a fortnight ago.
Before that, Smith ended a run of five successive missed cuts by finishing inside the top 25 at Wentworth, which suggests he’s coming into form as he arrives at a course that should suit his game.
Smith ranks eighth in shots gained from tee to green and first in greens in regulation percentage on the European Tour this year, which bodes well for his chances at this long, tree-lined track.
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