DEFENDING CHAMPION: Austrian Bernd Wiesberger shot 16-under-par 268 at Olgiata Golf Club last year, defeating Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick by one shot.

COURSE: Chervò Golf Club, located 40 kilometres east of Verona, will welcome the Italian Open for the first time this week. The 6,797-metre par-72 parkland layout opened for play in 2008 and was designed by Kurt Rossknecht.

PRIZEMONEY: €1,000,000.


Englishman Matt Wallace (pictured top) is favourite in the betting this week – and for good reason, too.

The World No.46 finished runner-up to Adrian Otaegui in Scotland last week and was T7th at this event last year. He also shared fourth place at the 2017 edition.

Wallace, four times a winner on the European Tour, knows how to get the job done and will be eager to make amends for last week’s final round, which he entered with a three-shot buffer only to be leapfrogged by a red-hot Otaegui.

RIGHT: Bernd Wiesberger won his seventh European Tour title at this event last year. PHOTO: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images.

Former World No.1 Lee Westwood owns 25 European Tour titles. But he has never tasted victory at the Italian Open.

The English veteran has recorded four top-10s at this event, however, and has only missed the cut on two occasions from 10 starts.

Westwood, 47, proved he still has what it takes to win when he claimed the Abu Dhabi Championship in January – and he has posted six consecutive top-20s on Tour dating back to the end of August. Don’t be surprised if he’s right in the thick of things come Sunday.

72-HOLE RECORD: South African Hennie Otto set the mark in relation to par when he won at Castello Tolcinasco with 25-under in 2008. Percy Alliss (1935), Francesco Molinari (2016) and Thorbjorn Olesen (2018), meanwhile, each shot 262 for their respective victories.

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Craig Parry (1991), Greg Norman (1988) and Peter Thomson (1959).

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Maverick Antcliff, Wade Ormsby and Jason Scrivener.

Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9:30pm – 2:30am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9:30pm – 2:30am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 2:30am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 10pm – 2:30am)
*AEDT, check local guides