After a promising amateur career in his home country, twice winning the Italian Amateur Stroke Play Championship (2002 and ’04) and then taking the Match Play Championship of 2004, he turned professional later that year and earned his European Tour card at Q-School.
He won his first title in his national championship, the Telecom Italia Open, and won the 2010 WGC-HSBC Championship, beating Lee Westwood by a shot. He also won the Spanish Open of 2012.
With brother Edoardo, he won the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup for Italy, and the pair also played together as rookies in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, with Francesco qualifying by right and Edoardo being a captain’s pick.
The pair was undefeated, gaining 1.5 points as a team with a win in the foursomes and a half in the fourballs. In the singles, Edoardo halved with Rickie Fowler, and Francesco beat Tiger Woods 4&3.
Francesco also played on the 2012 Ryder Cup team at Medinah, this time without his brother, losing in both the foursomes and fourballs, but clinching the crucial half point for Europe’s outright victory in his match with Tiger Woods.