Fresh Faces Back on Tour

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04 Open de ItaliaAs the European Tour begins to get to the heart of it's schedule with this week's playing of the 61st Telecom Italia Open, some fresh faces are starting to make their way back into the limelight.
 
Last week it was Jose Maria Olazabal who surfaced after spending most of the early part of the year on the PGA Tour.
 
And joining Olazabal this week is one of the freshes faces - not to mention hairstyles - in all of golf, Ian Poulter.
 
The 27-year-old Poulter is making his seventh start on tour and hopes to improve his position on the Ryder Cup points list for the European side. And there's not a better place for the young Englishman to do so than here at the Telecom Italia Open.
 
Poulter won his first ever tour title at the 2000 Italia Open, the same year in which he went on to win the tour's Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award. Poulter then made it a repeat performance in the 2002 edition on the strength of a tournament record 61 in the event's opening round.
 
Since his maiden victory in 2000, Poulter has had a steady climb up in the world rankings and currently resides inside the top 50. In the same span, he has also put together a string of four straight years of winning at least one tournament each season, he last coming at the 2003 Nordic Open.
 
Joining Olazabal and Poulter at the Castello di Tolcinasco Golf & Country Club is 2002 runner-up Paul Lawrie and an Italian contengent of Constantino Rocco, Emanuele Canonica and Alessandro Tadini. Each will be aiming to become the first Italian to win the event since Massimo Mannelli back in 1980.
 
Olazabal, who has never won the event, has finished runner-up on three seperate occasions, the last coming in 1998 to Swedens Patrik Sjoland.
 
First played in 1925, the Telecom Italia Open joined the European Tour in 1972. This year marks the first time the tournament will be played at the Arnold Palmer designed Castello di Tolcinasco Golf & Country Club.
 
The event had six playoffs in a 10 year stretch from '77 to '87 but have had none since.
 
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - 61st Telecom Italia Open