Rock holds firm in Italy to notch his first win on European Tour

Robert Rock held off a stunning charge from Thorbjorn Olesen to claim his maiden victory on the European Tour at the Italian Open, while Scotland's Peter Whiteford claimed his third successive top-ten finish by ending the tournament in fourth.

Englishman Rock carded a final-round 67 in Turin to finish on 21 under, one shot ahead of Olesen, who had earlier set a challenging clubhouse lead after a wonderful round of 62, and Gary Boyd. Whiteford was two shots behind Rock at Royal Park I Roveri course.

"I have been waiting a long time to be even in with a chance of doing this," said Rock. "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.

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"I was expecting to do well this week but not really expecting this."

Rock started shakily yesterday, bogeying the third before four successive birdies from the fifth put him back in charge. He picked up more shots at the tenth, 11th and 13th, with the only other blemish coming at the 12th.

He held his nerve impressively over the closing holes, apart from at the 17th when a wayward tee shot left him in the trees.

But he cracked an iron on to the fairway, with the ball missing a tree by a matter of inches, before pitching to 12 feet and holing his par putt.

"I was just waiting for the first putt to go in to believe I was still putting well," he added.

"I holed quite a nice one on the par five but I was a bit cautious on a few putts opening up.

"But when the first one went in I felt comfortable."

Olesen had nine birdies and an eagle in a fantastic round which threatened to derail Rock, who had led the event from the outset. "It was amazing to start with two birdies and then hole my second shot for an eagle at the third," he said.

"I think it's the first time I've holed a full shot in a tournament so it felt magic.

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"Just 23 putts today. I spoke to Thomas Bjorn after my third round and he gave me a little lesson, so thanks Thomas!

"My golf has been good last week and this week. I found something in my swing."

Englishman Boyd capped an impressive few days with a closing 66. "I saw Olesen was 19 under par when I had played nine holes and knew I could have a chance," he said.

"He birdied the last and I knew the target was 20. Rocky was making a few birdies and I played the last five holes really well under the microscope. Hit some loose tee shots but scrambled well."

Boyd had eight birdies and two bogeys to finish just ahead of Whiteford, but the Scot was heartened by another solid display over the four days.

"Three top-tens are unlike me. Normally it's two missed cuts, but the form's there," said Whiteford.

"I was on Challenge Tour for five years - I think I had honorary membership - and also played the EuroPro Tour. I served my time and hopefully we don't look back. They were great fun but this is where I want to be.

"My game's come round the last month or two and I was looking for a high finish this week rather than getting money to keep my card. That's done and dusted now and I can press on now."

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Italians Matteo Manassero and Francesco Molinari - the only two players ranked in the top 50 entered - ended in a share for eighth at 16-under then flew off to the upcoming major at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

267 Robert Rock 64 68 68 67

268 Gary Boyd 69 65 68 66, Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 65 71 70 62

269 Peter Whiteford 68 67 68 66

270 Joost Luiten (Ned) 66 67 69 68

271 Niclas Fasth (Swe) 69 69 64 69, Michael Jonzon (Swe) 69 68 69 65

272 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 66 68 68 70, Jbe Kruger (Rsa) 69 66 67 70, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 66 68 70 68

273 Mark Tullo (Chi) 72 67 69 65, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 66 68 69 70, George Coetzee (Rsa) 70 70 67 66, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 67 70 65 71

274 Anthony Wall 67 68 71 68, Richie Ramsay 67 69 69 69, Marco Ruiz (Par) 72 67 67 68, David Dixon 70 69 66 69, Rhys Davies 66 68 69 71, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 70 67 67, Florian Fritsch (Ger) 69 68 68 69, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 70 69 69 66

275 Lee Slattery 71 67 65 72, Chris Wood 64 69 71 71, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 68 72 66 69, David Horsey 68 69 69 69, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 71 66 69 69

Others: 276: Lloyd Saltman 70 68 71 67

280 Darren Clarke 71 66 75 68, Scott Jamieson 65 74 72 69

281 Alastair Forsyth 69 71 73

283 David Drysdale 68 71 70 74, George Murray 70 69 70 74,

286 Gary Orr 71 69 74 72