McDowell Wins Enough Italian Parmesan Cheese For 25-Years Of ‘Spag Bol’.

When Graeme McDowell captured the 2004 Italian Open he not only won a cheque for Euro 200,000 but enough Parmesan Cheese ‘for 25 years of Spaghetti Bolognaise’.

That was the tongue-in-cheek remark by a famed Italian journalist soon after McDowell sealed his second European Tour success at the then Monday morning four-hole play-off over Frenchman Thomas Levet.

A then fresh-face looking Graeme McDowell with his Euro 200,000 first prize cheque in winning the 2004 Italian Open.

McDowell won the event on the Castello Tolcinasco course and about the same distance south of Milano that Monza, and the venue for this week’s event at the Milano Golf Club course, is north of the city.

Heavy rain played havoc with the event forcing officials to reduce the 61st Italian Open to 54-holes and with 17 players, including McDowell and Levet, needing to return to the early Monday.

Victory earned McDowell the then second largest payday of his career along with 20cm high, 40 cm wide and near 40 kg ‘wheel’ of Parmesan Cheese.

A wheel of Parmesan Cheese.

McDowell returned to defend the 2005 Italian Open but missed the cut and since then he has not returned, not until this week.

So this week’s Euro 5.9m event is the first time McDowell has travelled back to Italy.

And McDowell will be ‘on show’ over the first two days given he will partner European Ryder Cup Captain, Thomas Bjorn.

Meantime –

Paul McGinley had been second reserve for the early part of the week but withdrew on Wednesday knowing no doubt he would not get a start.

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