Defending champion Francesco Molinari is in a six-way tie for the guide following the first spherical of the Italian Open.

The dwelling favourite carded 9 birdies and two bogeys in a sparkling sixty four to delight the Milan crowd.

Molinari was joined by England’s Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace, Welshman Jamie Donaldson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Alexander Bjork on 7 underneath par. George Coetzee and Byeong Hun An lie a shot further more back, when Masters champion Sergio Garcia and English duo Matt Wallace and Chris Paisley are among the 8 players tied on five underneath.

Setting up at the 10th gap, Molinari registered a hat trick of birdies from the 14th which he capped by draining a amazing 20-footer at the 16th. He completed his entrance 9 in fashion, chipping in for a birdie at the 18th to get to five underneath right before selecting up further more shots at the first and second.

Molinari instructed the European Tour site: “Naturally it was an additional excellent working day. I started quite a great deal the place I still left off previous 12 months, so it was excellent.

“It truly is excellent to see the crowds. I imagine you will find a awesome buzz all around the position and I am joyful and happy to be portion of it.”

A higher-profile three-ball observed the best three in the Race to Dubai, Tommy Fleetwood, Garcia and Jon Rahm, teeing off with each other. England’s Fleetwood, now main the rankings, strike a level-par seventy one when 3rd-positioned Rahm came dwelling in sixty seven.

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