The British you don’t expect will take home the 2022 Italian Golf Open. Scottish Robert MacIntyre, previously number 110 in the world, wins at Marco Simone after a play-off hole with England’s Matt Fitzpatrick, one of the favourites.
The Italian one is his second career victory on the European tour even if the previous one, the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown 2020, was little more than a show in full lockdown. MacIntyre, Orban’s 26-year-old left-handed player, starts as if there were no tomorrow: six of the ten birdies overall arrive in the first nine holes.
The loneliness of the numbers one begins to weigh soon after. The Scot feels the breath on the neck of the various Fitzpatricks, Rai and Perez. McIlroy was also returning. The two consecutive bogeys at 14 and 15 bend the young Scottish man but do not break him.
Two other birdies send Robert back as leader in the clubhouse at -14 (his best score of the day, -7). Behind him all his rivals, except Fitzpatrick, hoist the white flag one after the other. McIlroy had already done his part, leaving 17 holes uphill after a double bogey at 1.
Bad luck doesn’t help him in some putts but in the end the Northern Irishman returns in contention with three birdies between 12 and 15. When the Open seems to be within his reach again, the unexpected tee shot arrives: Rory sends the driver of the 16 into the water and goodbye dreams of glory.
Robert MacIntyre, results
The Italian Open is therefore a question of two: Fitzpatrick or MacIntyre. Matt remained at the top of the Capitoline leaderboard for four days, suggesting the name of a major champion in the roll of honor of the main national race.
The omen seems to be opposed to the par 5 of hole 12 when the second shot from almost two hundred meters hits the shaft. Unfortunately the ball does not enter and the albatross is “downgraded” to a birdie which, however, catapults the English forward, until the playoff.
On hole 18 the playoff immediately says good to the Scotsman who wins with a birdie. No prophet at home at the Italian Open. The Azzurri have never been protagonists except for the beautiful tale of the amateur from the Marche region Flavio Michetti and the pro debut of Filippo Celli.
The former, having received an invitation to play on Thursday only on Tuesday, passed the cut with ease, finishing 69th on Sunday. The second got off to a good start in the world of adults for three days out of four. The best Italian was Dodo Molinari, 27th with a total score of -2.
The Ryder Cup vice-captain preceded his brother Francesco by a single blow. Chicco started from -4 and finished at -1, certainly not the lap that was needed to aim for the top ten and warm up the Italian public. Ironically: for the third consecutive day our major champion paid the duty on hole 18.
Three strokes left on the last hole: to be marked in the Ryder Cup key. four birdies in four rounds. Migliozzi also finished at -1, position number 34. Celli 61st (+3), Mazzoli 67th (+4) and amateur Florioli 74th (+8) complete the Italian placings.