Played in the 2014 US Open, but this is his Open debut at the age of 30 after a climb up the world rankings, largely on the back of two victories on the European Tour in the past year.
He beat twice Open Champion Padraig Harrington by two in the Czech Masters last August and on June 23 defeat Matthew Fitzpatrick in a play-off for the BMW International Open in Germany. That success moved him to a career-high 83rd in the world after he began last year outside the game’s top 750.
The four-time Challenge Tour winner, who twice represented Italy in the Eisenhower Trophy world amateur team championships and last season added World Cup honours, was Italian strokeplay champion at the age of 16 and spent four years at Texas A&M, during which time they became American college champions.
He just missed out on playing in The Open at Sandwich in 2011, finishing joint second with Tommy Fleetwood one behind Lucas Bjerregaard in the previous season’s European Amateur Championship. He turned professional after that and captured his first two Challenge Tour titles in 2011 to earn promotion to the main circuit.