Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Mario Camicia, the man regarded by many as Mr Golf in Italy, has died following a brave battle with illness. He was 70.
The Tournament Director of the Italian Open for many years until 1992, Camicia was also Italy’s first recognised golf commentator on television and gave his authoritative views on the game to viewers for 20 years, helping grow not only the understanding of the game in his home country, but also the interest.
His first commentating role in 1981 was with Mediaset and then for the satellite TV Telepiu, now recognised as Sky Italia.
His passion for golf came through his commentary and his emotive words when Costantino Rocca holed his famous putt from the Valley of Sin at the 18th green at St Andrews in 1995 to force a play-off with John Daly for The Open Championship, have been replayed on numerous Italian websites since his passing.
Away from commentary, he was also a co-founder of the magazine ‘Golf Italiano’ which he left in the 1980s. He was also involved with ‘il Grande Golf’ and ‘Golf e Turismo’ where he was still Editorial Director. In his time he also collaborated with ‘Gazzetta dello Sport’ and ‘il Giornale’ and was a consultant for ‘Golf Style.’
Leading the tributes to Camicia’s influence was European Tour Chief Executive George O’Grady who knew the Italian during the bulk of his working life in the game.
“Mario epitomised everything that was special about Italian golf,” said O’Grady. “He was a fervent supporter, a tireless administrator and Tournament Director of the Italian Open, and for many years a great and passionate television commentator who contributed so immensely to the growth not only of all levels of Italian golfers but the whole European Tour.
“He, and his unique welcome to Italy, will be sadly missed by all of us and so very many of our Members. He was, quite simply, unique.”
Rocca’s prominence in the 1990’s, which included three Ryder Cup appearances, thrilled Camicia greatly as did the emergence in recent years of Edoardo and Francesco Molinari – who followed Rocca into The Ryder Cup arena in 2010 – and Matteo Manassero, who was The Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year on The European Tour in the same season.
He is survived by his wife Silvia and his children Francesca (23) and Michele (16).



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