Robert Rock wins maiden Tour title at Italian Open

Robert Rock
Rock has never qualified for any of the three US-based majors until now

Robert Rock ended his nine-year wait for a first European Tour title with victory at the Italian Open in Turin.

The Englishman, who held the lead from the first day, carded a final-round five-under 67 to finish on -21 overall.

Compatriot Gary Boyd holed eight birdies in a blistering round of 66 to finish one shot behind Rock alongside Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen.

Rock will play in his first US Open this week after securing his spot in qualifying at Walton Heath.

The 34-year-old credited his victory at the Royal Park Roveri to his improved putting skills thanks to an old coaching manual.

"My putting had been letting me down so when I read the book I decided to use some of the tips in it," said Rock. "It helped me considerably."

The round of the day belonged to Olesen, who carded a 10-under-par 62, including a 30-foot birdie on the 18th, as he heaped pressure on Rock at the top of the leaderboard.

Former teaching professional Rock had been trailing Olesen by four shots when he holed a bogey at the 3rd following a nervous start.

But he soon found his composure, carding six birdies in seven holes to take the outright lead by the 11th hole.

However, a 15-foot putt for par on the 17th after driving into the trees proved just as vital as his seven birdies.

"That putt on the 17th took a huge amount of pressure off," he added.

Home favourite teenager Matteo Manassero, who will make his US Open debut alongside Rock at the Congressional Country Club in Maryland next Thursday, finished five shots behind the winner.

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