|— Golfer —|
|Full name||Costantino Rocca|
4 December 1956 |
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Spouse||Antonella (m. 1981)|
|Current tour(s)||European Seniors Tour|
|Former tour(s)||European Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|European Seniors Tour||2|
|Best results in major championships
|Masters Tournament||T5: 1997|
|U.S. Open||T67: 1996|
|The Open Championship||2nd: 1995|
|PGA Championship||T17: 1995|
Costantino Rocca (born 4 December 1956) is the most successful male golfer that Italy has produced. After a long career on the European Tour he is now playing on the European Seniors Tour. He has five European Tour wins and is best known for his second-place finish in the 1995 Open Championship.
In the 1980s, Rocca struggled to retain a European Tour card and made several trips to the Qualifying School. He began to make major strides in his career in 1990, which was the first season that he finished high enough on the Order of Merit to gain a tour card automatically. By 1993, he had risen to sixth in the Order of Merit, and his two best seasons were 1995 and 1996, when he finished fourth. He won five titles on the tour, the first of which was the 1993 Open de Lyon and the most prestigious of which was the 1996 Volvo PGA Championship.
In 1995, Rocca sank a 60-foot (18 metre) putt on the 18th at St Andrews to make the birdie he needed force a play-off with the American John Daly, but Daly took the title. As Rocca approached the final hole, he was one shot behind Daly. Rocca's long drive was only yards from the green, but his second shot resulted in a fluffed chip where he forgot to follow through. The ball trickled a mere five yards into the "Valley of Sin." From the Valley of Sin, well below the level of the green, Rocca putted and holed his birdie putt. The jovial Italian instantly fell to the ground and began pounding the ground with his fists out of joy.
Rocca's showing at the Open helped qualify him for the Ryder Cup in 1995. The Italian punched a five-iron into the cup for a hole-in-one at Oak Hill's 167-yard sixth hole. It was only the third hole-in-one in Ryder Cup history.
In 1997, Rocca played the final round of The Masters Tournament with 21-year-old Tiger Woods, nine strokes behind him. He finished 3-under-par, and watched Woods' legendary moment. Since the turn of the millennium, age has begun to catch up with Rocca and he has fallen out of the top hundred on the Order of Merit. He made his European Seniors Tour debut at the 2007 Sharp Italian Seniors Open, and won his first senior tournament two weeks later at the Irish Seniors Open. He ended 2008 with a record seven top finishes and ranked ninth in the Order of Merit. His best placing was tied third in the Azores Senior Open.
Rocca was the first Italian to play for Europe in the Ryder Cup, and remained the only Italian to do so until 2010, when Francesco Molinari qualified for the Ryder Cup held in Celtic Manor and Edoardo Molinari was a captain's pick. He appeared in 1993, 1995 and 1997, and had a 6-5-0 win-loss-half record, including 1 win and 2 losses in singles matches. That one singles win came in a crucial match against Tiger Woods in the 1997 Ryder Cup at Valderrama, which Rocca won 4 & 2 to help Europe claim the cup. The victory against Woods was one of Woods' first losses in singles play. His 53% winning record in the Cup is one of the best in European team history. In 1999, Rocca almost qualified for the Cup again after he won the West of Ireland Golf Classic.
Rocca played his last European Tour event in 2015 at the Italian Open, an event Rocca played in 33 times, but never won.
Rocca is married and has two children, Francesco and Chiara.
In 2008, Rocca opened his own golf academy, the Costantino Rocca Golf Academy, at Golf Club Gerre Losone in Switzerland.
Professional wins (17)
European Tour wins (5)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||4 Apr 1993||Open de Lyon||−21 (67-71-66-63=267)||6 strokes|| Joakim Haeggman, Gabriel Hjertstedt,
Barry Lane, Paul McGinley
|2||27 Jun 1993||Peugeot Open de France||−11 (66-66-71-70=273)||Playoff||Paul McGinley|
|3||27 May 1996||Volvo PGA Championship||−14 (69-67-69-69=274)||2 strokes||Nick Faldo, Paul Lawrie|
|4||7 Sep 1997||Canon European Masters||−13 (71-69-70-65=275)||1 stroke||Scott Henderson, Robert Karlsson|
|5||15 Aug 1999||West of Ireland Golf Classic||−12 (70-68-68-70=276)||2 strokes||Pádraig Harrington|
European Tour playoff record (1–1)
|1||1993||Peugeot Open de France||Paul McGinley||Won with bogey on first extra hole|
|2||1995||The Open Championship||John Daly||Lost four-hole playoff (Daly 4-3-4-4=15, Rocca 5-4-7-3=19)|
Other wins (7)
- 1984 Nazionale Open
- 1985 Enichem Open
- 1986 Pinetina Open
- 1987 Index Open
- 1988 Rolex Pro-Am (Switzerland)
- 1989 Nazionale Open, Italian PGA Championship
All in Italy except where noted.
European Seniors Tour (2)
Other senior wins (3)
- 2008 Senior Italian PGA Championship
- 2010 Senior Italian PGA Championship
- 2011 Senior Italian PGA Championship
Results in major championships
|The Open Championship||T44||T55||CUT||CUT||2||T63||CUT||T8||T18|
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.
|The Open Championship||0||1||0||1||2||3||9||6|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 4 (1996 U.S. Open – 1997 Masters)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (three times)
- Hennessy Cognac Cup (representing Italy): 1984
- Alfred Dunhill Cup (representing Italy): 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1999
- Europcar Cup: 1988
- World Cup (representing Italy): 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999
- Ryder Cup (representing Europe): 1993, 1995 (winners), 1997 (winners)