Rock claims first Tour win in Italy

Wednesday, 15 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

English veteran Robert Rock won his first European Tour title at the age of 34 on Sunday when he claimed a one-shot victory in the Italian Open.

Rock carded a final-round five-under-par 67 to finish on 21 under for the tournament, holding off a fighting challenge from Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark, who went round in 62 after a spectacular outward 29. England’s Gary Boyd shared second place with Olesen on 20 under.

Rock, a nine-year Tour veteran with three runners-up places under his belt, had been two clear overnight, but endured a nervous start and bogeyed the third.

He then reeled off four consecutive birdies from the fifth, and two more at the tenth and 11th put him ahead of 21-year-old Olesen.

Rock wobbled again with a bogey at the 12th, reclaimed the shot at the 13th before parring the difficult 17th, recovering well after finding the trees with his drive.

“I have been waiting a long time to be even in with a chance of doing this,” Rock told Sky Sports. “I played good today so I am very happy.

“It’s a fantastic feeling, it’s one of my favourite courses now. Since they changed the venue I have done well here. I was expecting to do well this week but not really expecting this.”

Rock’s next date is a debut appearance at the US Open in Maryland from Thursday.