Italian Open, Pavan makes the Azzurri dream

Italians were immediately protagonists in the first round of the 81st Italian Open presented by the Emilia-Romagna Region.

by Andrea Gussoni
Italian Open, Pavan makes the Azzurri dream
© Getty Images Sport - Andrew Redington / Staff

Italians were immediately protagonists in the first round of the 81st Italian Open presented by the Emilia-Romagna Region. Andrea Pavan is in command with 64 (-7) shots, on par with the Dane Sebastian Friedrichsen and the American Gunner Wiebe, while Francesco Laporta is sixth with 66 (-5) and Jacopo Vecchi Fossa twelfth with 67 (-4).

Italian Open, results

On the course of the Adriatic Golf Club of Cervia (par 71) the Malaysian Gavin Green and the Swede Marcus Kinhult are in fourth position with 65 (-6) and in sixth, with Laporta, also the Spaniards Adri Arnaus and Adrian Otaegui, the another American Sean Crocker, the Frenchman Ugo Coussaud and the Canadian Aaron Cockerill.

In the tournament, followed by 4,000 spectators, Matteo Manassero, 20th with 68 (-3), reiterated his good moment. One more shot for Edoardo Molinari and Aron Zemmer, 31st with 69 (-2), and a good performance from the amateur Giovanni Binaghi, 51st with 70 (-1) together with Filippo Celli.

Guido Migliozzi and the two awaited Masters Champions were not very brilliant. The Vicenza native, winner of the KLM last week and who will defend the blue colors with Manassero at the next Paris Olympics, paid dearly for two bogeys at the start, still managing to recover, but remaining in par (74th with 71).

The American Patrick Reed, one of the stars of LIV Golf, 31st with 69 (-2), started with a birdie then set the score with another almost at the end and 16 holes in par. The Englishman Danny Willett, 99th with 72 (+1), went up and down and in the end the balance was negative.

Andrea Pavan, a 35-year-old Roman with two titles on the circuit and five on the Challenge Tour, made seven birdies without bogeys: “I'm happy – he said – because I scored the best score of the year. Like last week I felt good with the irons and created numerous birdie opportunities.

Then a good feeling with the putter did the rest." Having finished tenth in the 2019 Open, he returned to the top ten on the DP World Tour last week (fourth in the KLM Open) and with today's performance he confirmed his excellent condition.

Francesco Laporta, 33 years old from Castellana Grotte (BA), three successes on the Challenge Tour, scored six birdies and one bogey. He said he was satisfied with his performance, then added: “The pitch requires attention, because the slightest mistake costs you.

In particular, the shafts are close to the rough and if you miss the fairway it is not easy to hit the green." He was the best Italian at the Open in 2021 (fourth) and in 2019 (seventh), a result that had a great impact on his morale, because shortly afterwards he won two races on the Challenge Tour and the order of merit, earning the 'card' for the major circuit.

The 35-year-old Gunner Wiebe, who has played some races on the PGA Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour without significant results, also made a clear run, also with seven birdies. Sebastian Friedrichsen, 21 years old, in his 19th appearance, earned his pass to the DP World Tour with third place at the Qualifying School. For him eight birdies and a bogey.