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Rob Lee blogs on Italian Open, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia

Rob Lee - Rob Lee Posted 25th September 2013 view comments

We had a decent end to the Italian Open in Turin but surprisingly none of the guys you thought would make a run did.

Francesco Molinari, Nicolas Colsaerts and the leader going into the final day, Marcus Fraser, all went backwards and only one guy played well enough on the back nine and his name was Julien Quesne.

Frenchman Quesne celebrates his Italian Open triumph

Frenchman Quesne celebrates his Italian Open triumph

Quesne birdied three of the last four holes to pick up an unlikely win and I say that because his form hasn't been great.

Julien finished seventh the week before at the KLM Open but he hasn't been tearing it up all year and was down in the mid-80s in the Race to Dubai.

However, he seems like someone who takes his chances.

You've got to think that Augusta will suit Henrik down to the ground what with the distance he hits the ball and his high-flying iron shots.

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Quesne hasn't had many opportunities to win tournaments, but has two victories on the European Tour now - he also won the Open de Andalucia in 2012.

That's a good habit to get into, while his final round in Turin was particularly good as he double bogeyed the second and still shot 67.

Molinari had the home support urging him on and was playing on his home course but he shot a 75 on the final day, while Colsaerts ended with 11 pars and was two shots shy of Quesne which wasn't really good enough.


Colsaerts and Molinari will be eyeing the Ryder Cup but I'm sure European captain Paul McGinley would want 12 Henrik Stensons, after the Swede won the Tour Championship and, as a result, the FedEx Cup millions.

Stenson's record since the middle of the summer, including at the Majors, has been absolutely phenomenal and I hope he gets all the money he lost in Allen Stanford's Ponzi scheme back - with interest.

A weaker-minded player could have dwelt on the fact that $10million was there for the taking and thrown it all away, but Henrik was not even close to doing that and his ability to hole out under pressure was magnificent, as it has been for months.

If Stenson keeps playing exactly like he is now, he could start to mow Tiger Woods down at the top of the rankings but, of course, a Major is what he will be truly craving following this year's second place at the Open and third place at the USPGA.

You've got to think that Augusta will suit Henrik down to the ground what with the distance he hits the ball and his high-flying iron shots, so after a period of rest to heal up a wrist injury and the final few events on the European Tour, he will be looking to kick on in 2014.


Stenson would be a popular figure in the dressing room at Gleneagles as part of Europe's Ryder Cup team because he is a practical joker and outgoing - we can all remember him chucking clubs into water hazards and stripping down to his pants to play shots.

Stenson's demeanour has never changed, whether he has been at the top or the bottom; he is a very consistent man, very grounded and not your typical Swede - and a real asset in any Ryder Cup situation.

Sergio Garcia, meanwhile did well to finish in a tie for ninth at the Tour Championship, but he remains an enigma; he is playing some great golf but just doesn't seem to get the joy out of it.

You have to give yourself a pat on the back when you are playing well because it's a blooming hard game, but it sometimes looks to me as if Sergio is holding himself back and I think he could get more out of himself if he went with the flow a little bit more and his ups were higher.

Your game is very good, Sergio, so smell the flowers.


I know David Duval, the former Open champion who finished a shock second at the 2009 US Open at Bethpage Black, has received a late invite to the Alfred Dunhill Links and I am going to go right out of leftfield and pick him. Another fairy story would be Nick Dougherty, who has no form whatsoever but won this event in 2007, but from a British perspective you'd have to fancy Paul Casey to fly the flag.

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