In this week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Guido Migliozzi talks about his rise on the European Tour, finishing fourth on his Major debut and representing his country at the Olympics.
You don’t just appear on the European Tour. There’s a lot of hard work before you reach it. Starting out on the Alps Tour was enjoyable because I was close to home so I could see my friends and family and then travel back easily. Having picked up some wins, I then qualified for the Challenge Tour.
Both Tours are very hard. Everyone is fighting and competing, we all have the same goal, which is to reach the European Tour. It’s incredibly tough, and with the events being played further afield it was much harder than the Alps Tour as I was further away from home. But I finally reached my goal of securing a European Tour card.
If you can compete on the Challenge Tour, you can compete on the European Tour. Results prove this. You see many European Tour winners that have come through the ranks on the Challenge Tour, so when I finally earned my card, I was surrounded by players who had similar paths to me. I knew I could do it. I just had to believe in myself.
It was incredible to get my first victory on only my 14th European Tour start. I started the 2019 season poorly, despite my game feeling in really good shape. My career on the European Tour didn’t get off to the start I expected it to, but I had self-belief and I knew I could compete out here. I just needed to get everything to click in one week. Thankfully that week came over in Kenya. After coming through the Alps Tour and Challenge Tour, to finally get a win on the European Tour was amazing. I really got the feeling that I belong here, competing with the best players.
Drama at the end as Guido Migliozzi wins the inaugural Magical Kenya Open.— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 18, 2019
It was amazing to make my Major debut this year, but to finish fourth made it even better. I qualified for the U.S. Open after consecutive runners up finishes, so I felt confident with my game, and I had momentum with me. I was well prepared coming into the tournament week, I have a good team around me with my caddie and coach and we went to the USA a week early to get over the jetlag in plenty of time. It also gave us the opportunity to play on some amazing courses like Pebble Beach and Cypress Point. We really made the most of the experience.
But as tournament approached us, I was very confident. We knew that with the right mental game and preparation for the course we could have a successful week. We didn’t set any objectives to make the top ten, or even top 20. I just wanted to play my own game, enjoy the experience, and get as far as possible. To finish fourth was amazing. I played very well over the week, but it gave me even more confidence which is very important out here.
The Open was a very valuable experience. It was a week full of learning. It was my first appearance at and unfortunately, I missed the cut by one shot. However, there were still plenty of positives to take. I learnt so much. It can be very tough for the mind playing on links golf. Playing shot-by-shot and not losing your mind is essential. You can hit a bunker and it’s plugged, it’s not a forgiving layout, but I gained a lot of experience.
Representing Italy in the Olympics was an honour. But to be there beside Renato Paratore, who’s a long friend of mine, it made it an even better experience. We grew up together, we’ve played alongside each other for years, so to share the moment with him is something I won’t ever forget. It was something different to every other event we play each year. Surrounded by athletes of other sports, learning about their talents was great. It was a great experience.
Golf is an individual sport. Self-belief is key. You must trust yourself and your team around you. Every shot counts out here. You keep on developing as a player and learning week-in, week-out. But I love to pick things up from other players.
Players like Miguel Ángel Jiménez. We’ve played together on many practice rounds and on the range I’ll always pick his brain. The way he lives his life on and off the course, he’s a legend, but he even tells me that he is still learning, and he’s been competing out here for a long time.
My eyes are on the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy. It’s a goal for every golfer from Europe to play in the Ryder Cup. But, being Italian, to play in the Ryder Cup in my own country would be a dream come true. It’s what we all want.