European Tour action will return to Sicily's Verdura Resort for the second year running when the award-winning golf and lifestyle resort hosts the Rocco Forte Open - Verdura from May 10-13, 2018.
First hosted by the resort in May 2017, shortly after becoming a European Tour Destination, the inaugural tournament saw Spain's Álvaro Quirós secure his seventh European Tour title after beating Zander Lombard of South Africa in a play-off.
Featuring a star-studded field including European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn, Nicolas Colsaerts and home favourite Matteo Manassero - the youngest-ever player on the European Tour - players in the event were united in their praise for Verdura Resort, with Quirós hailing the golf courses as "paradise".
The first names for the 2018 edition of the the Rocco Forte Open - Verdura are set to be announced shortly, and the latest addition to the European Tour's 2018 schedule means there will now be a minimum of 46 events in 30 countries counting towards the season-long Race to Dubai.
Sir Rocco Forte, owner of Verdura Resort and Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, said: "The Rocco Forte Open was a great success this year and we are delighted to have the European Tour back again to Verdura Sicily, in 2018.
"We believe that Verdura Resort is one of Europe's elite golf destinations, featuring two Kyle Phillips links golf courses set against the beautiful Sicilian backdrop, and we relish the opportunity to showcase the resort again."
European Tour Chief Executive Officer Keith Pelley said: "After such a successful first edition of The Rocco Forte Open, we are delighted to announce our return to the island of Sicily in 2018.
"Verdura Resort is a spectacular venue and presented a test that was enjoyed by everyone who played there last May. We are constantly looking to provide playing opportunities for all our membership and the 2018 Rocco Forte Open will be an important tournament in that regard."
Verdura Resort features two 18-hole links golf courses - the East and the West - with this year's Rocco Forte Open - Verdura played on a composite course combining the finest holes from both layouts.
Nestling on the coast in 230 hectares of stunning landscape, warmed by the Mediterranean sun and refreshed by the sea breeze, Verdura Resort, a Rocco Forte hotel and member of the European Tour Properties network, was named by Golf Digest as a recipient of an ‘Editors' Choice Award for Best International Resorts' in 2016 and 2017 and provides golf on a grand scale.
Designed by Kyle Phillips, the resort's golf courses offer uninterrupted views of the azure waters from the undulating greens. The venue includes two 18-hole championship courses, a nine-hole, par-three layout and extensive practice facilities including a double-ended driving range and outstanding academy.
In addition to unlimited use of golf facilities, guests can enjoy numerous other sports and leisure amenities including six tennis courts, an array of different watersports, a 170sqm fully-equipped gym and an award-winning 4,000sqm spa complex with thalassotherapy pools. Verdura Resort's knowledgeable concierge is also able to offer a range of excursions outside of the hotel, from vineyards to ancient temples.
Situated on Sicily's southern coast between Agrigento and the fishing city of Sciacca, an 80-minute drive from Trapani and Palermo airports, Verdura Resort - a Rocco Forte hotel - features 203 rooms and suites, all with a sea view, as well as three new villas which offer a perfect solution for family holidays, each with its own private swimming pool.
Serving up a mixture of sunny skies, a temperate climate and breathtaking scenery, combined with a plethora of historical, cultural and gastronomic delights, Sicily has all the ingredients for a relaxing break, and Verdura Resort is the ideal base to discover this authentic part of the Mediterranean's largest island.
For more information on Verdura Resort and to book, visit www.roccofortehotels.com.