Olympic Golf Feature: Guido Migliozzi

Italy’s latest DP World Tour champion talks about his emotional win, realizing his Olympics goal

In the first in a new series highlighting the stories of DP World Tour members set to compete at this summer's Olympic Games, Guido Migliozzi* reflects on winning his fourth DP World Tour title at the KLM Open, his pride at the prospect of representing Italy again on the international stage at a venue with fond memories, and overcoming a challenging period in his career when a close friend on the course was struggling with illness.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on the DP World Tour website.

It was a very emotional day for me on Sunday to win again on the DP World Tour at the KLM Open. After doing all the activities that come with winning, like speeches and talking to volunteers, I didn’t end up leaving the club until after 11 p.m. A friend of mine, Riccardo, came to watch me on Saturday and Sunday, so it was great to have him beside me. I flew to Venice on Monday morning and spent the whole day with my family, it was a special time.

The victory at The International was certainly different to my other three DP World Tour titles, in France, Belgium and Kenya respectively. On the last day I had to go through so many things mentally, and I was able to pass through them and hold onto what I was trying to achieve. That makes me very proud of the job me and my caddie Pello Iguaran performed under pressure. To win a golf tournament is never easy and to get it done is something to be proud of. It is important to truly enjoy the moment. Now, as a player, I am trying to pay attention to the good things, and Sunday was certainly a good thing for me.

This was my first win since bringing on board Pello, who previously worked with Francesco Molinari, as my caddie.

The relationship I have with Alberto Villanueva, my previous caddie, goes well beyond a professional player-caddie relationship. Of course, he was a caddie for me, but more than that he was also a big part of my life, even outside the golf course. I won my first three DP World Tour titles with him, including two in my breakout season in 2019. To split with him last year was not an easy decision, but we were trying to put his health first before the job after he was diagnosed with throat cancer.

That period was not easy for me because I didn’t know if he would be able to come to a golf tournament or if he had to stay at home to recover. At that time, we then decided to split, and I took the decision to follow a new path. Now I am working with Pello, a very good person and a very professional person both on and off the course. I trust Pello and at the same time, I am able to remain in good contact with Alberto, who has now fully recovered. I am very happy for him because he had a great week with Andrea Pavan, who finished in the top five at the KLM Open.

My recent run of form – three top 10s in my last four starts including a win – has coincided with some changes to my clubs that I have made. Ahead of the KLM Open, I swapped out my 4-iron for a driving iron, while I switched from a 3-wood to a mini driver ahead of the Volvo China Open in April. These switches have helped me have more confidence in my swing and improved the consistency in my game from off the tee. This has been vital in giving me more chance to attack the pins. Earlier in the European Swing at the European Open in Germany, I changed my putter for the second time this season to a Spider, and I've seen some great signs so hopefully it carries on this week in my national open.

Even before I won the KLM Open, the week started in the right direction with the news that I had qualified to represent Italy at the Olympic Games. I’ve been playing great in recent weeks and felt good about my game, so to have got the win is great. To be a part of the Italian team for the Olympics was one of my main goals this year. Le Golf National is a golf course that I have great memories at, having won my third DP World Tour title – the Open de France – there in 2022.

To represent Italy is always a big honor, but to be alongside Matteo Manassero and fly the flag for Italy at the Olympics will be a great pleasure. He is a friend and idol whom I admire. He was my hero when I grew up. He is four years older than me, and when I was a kid, he was already winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and other big tournaments. He is undoubtedly one of my golfing heroes. He is an inspiring person, even outside of golf. To share a special moment like playing at the Olympics with him will be a delight. Manassero has long been one of my reference points for me.

Also, when I was growing up, Renato Paratore was a part of my journey. We were teammates as amateurs, and when I was on the Alps Tour, he was already winning on the DP World Tour. My long-time idol is Tiger Woods, while I now admire Scottie Scheffler – he is doing amazing things.

As Italian golfers, we are a good team. We always travel together, train together and get on well with each other. I am always very happy when other Italians play well. With the Italian Open this week, and then a series of big events in Europe coming up, it is a good time for us so long may it continue. It’s certainly a good time for us to be more in contention for titles and that’s very nice to see.

With it being during the COVID-19 pandemic, the last time I was at the Olympics in Japan was a very tough period for everyone. We couldn’t really do anything outside golf. I just hope this year will enable us to enjoy the Olympic experience a little more. While I'm planning on staying near to Le Golf National, I’d still like to go and watch some other sports as a fan while I'm in France.

As told to DP World Tour's Mathieu Wood.