Sicilian resort hailed by Bjorn, Quiros, Colsaerts & Co after making its European Tour debut
By Chris Johnston
SOME of the European Tour’s leading golfers have united in their praise for Sicily’s Verdura Resort, hailing it as one of the best and most spectacular tournament venues in the world.
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn was among the big names taking part in the inaugural 2017 Rocco Forte Open-Verdura, which took place recently.Álvaro Quirós claimed victory at the second extra hole after a tense play-off with South African Zander Lombard in the Sicilian sunshine, and the Spaniard led the accolades for Verdura Resort after being presented with the trophy by tournament host, Sir Rocco Forte.
“It’s an unbelievable sight,” said Quiros. “My room is unbelievable and the golf course is a paradise – it is a very complete resort.”
The tournament was played on a composite course combining the finest holes from Verdura Resort’s two award-winning 18-hole championship courses, the East Course and West Course.
Measuring 7,217 yards, the par-71 layout comprised of nine holes from each of the two Kyle Phillips-designed courses and featured one of the most dramatic finishes in world tournament golf, with the final six holes running adjacent to the coast and set against the magnificent backdrop of the azure Mediterranean Sea.
Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts, who starred for Europe at the 2012 Ryder Cup, said: “I’m really glad we’re here, it’s a beautiful place.”
Local Italian favourite, Matteo Manassero, described it as ‘wonderful’, whilst Bjørn added: “What a beautiful place and what a place to play golf - it’s a good job we have!”