Dougherty hoping to turn the corner

A struggling Nick Dougherty is hoping for a change of fortune at the BMW Italian Open in Turin.

A struggling, out-of-form Nick Dougherty is hoping for a change of fortune at this week’s BMW Italian Open in Turin.

In his worst-ever run on the European Tour, the 28-year-old from Liverpool has missed the past 13 cuts during a slump in form that has seen him drop to 607th in the world rankings.

Just three years ago, though, Dougherty had been in the world’s top 50, had finished seventh in the US Open in 2007 and was seen as being one of the English young guns with the greatest potential.

However having recorded first back-to-back rounds in the sixties for 14 months at the Open qualifying tournament at Sunningdale, Dougherty is hoping he has now turned a corner.

“I would just like to get some fruits for my labour,” said Dougherty.

“I’ve not got a jot and that’s not fun,” he added after failing to earn a spot at Sandwich next month.

The field at the BMW Italian Open is far weaker than those Dougherty has been competing against recently.

Francesco Molinari and 18-year-old Matteo Manassero are the only two players in the game’s top 50 competing at Royal Park.

Manassero, who has had two Tour victories since making his professional debut in the event last May, is paired in the opening two rounds with Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke, both of whom began playing the circuit before he was even born.

Molinari, winner in 2006, added a World Golf Championship title in Shanghai last November and is currently 20th in the world.