Lowdown:

The European Tour heads to Italy this week for the BMW Italian Open, staged at the Royal Park Golf & Country Club in Turin.

The course was designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Snr, whose courses are famous for landscape art, innovative use of bunkers, tricky greens and widespread use of water hazards.

The course opened in 1971 and will stage the tournament – which was inaugurated in 1972 – for the fourth consecutive year.

The tournament has a distinguished history and an impressive list of winners, including Ian Pouter, Greg Norman, Sam Torrance, Benrhard Langer and Tony Jacklin.

Robert Rock won his maiden European Tour title in this event last year, but will have to perform to the best of his ability if he wants to record a second victory in 2012.

Looking to take his crown are Ryder Cup players Nicolas Colsaerts, Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari, whose brother Edoardo returns after a three-month lay-off with a wrist injury.

The course is a reasonable length but will be dry after a spell of hot weather in Italy, so the emphasis will be on accuracy and course management.

Venue: Royal Park Golf and Country Club, Turin, Italy
Date: Sept 13-16
Course stats: Par 72, 7,282 yards
Purse: €1,500,000
Defending Champion: Robert Rock (-21)

TV Coverage:

Thursday 13th – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10.30am
Friday 14th – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 10.30am
Saturday 15th – Live on Sky Sports 4 from 12pm
Sunday 16th – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 12.30pm

Player Watch:

Francesco Molinari – The Italian is making his last start before the Ryder Cup, and will be hoping to add to his Spanish Open triumph earlier this season. He was born in Turin and will be hopeful of success in front of a home crowd.

Martin Kaymer: The German has been in the golfing abyss for the last couple of months, but showed some signs of form at last week’s KLM Open, where he recorded his best finish since mid-June.

Thorbjorn Olesen: The talented Dane finished in a tie for second last year on debut, and will be looking to add to his maiden tour victory in Sicily earlier this year. He also matched the course record at Royal Park in 2011 with a closing 62.

Key Hole: 18th. At just 540 yards, this par 5 is reachable for the vast majority of the field, but trouble lurks, with a narrow fairway and water to the right of the green. Expect to see eagles and double-bogeys here.

Skill Required: Accuracy and course management. Royal Park is inundated with water hazards and other strategically placed obstacles, so precision will be more important than power and length off the tee.