Molinari shoots 62 for early lead

Associated Press  |  Last updated July 11, 2012

SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 14: Francesco Molinari of Italy watches his tee shot on the 8th hole during the Final Round of the Barclays Singapore Open held at the Sentosa Golf Club on November 14, 2010 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari took advantage of calm conditions to shoot a flawless 10-under 62 at the Scottish Open on Thursday, taking a three-stroke lead midway through a low-scoring first round of the British Open warm-up event. The Italian Ryder Cup player rolled in 10 birdies on a still, dry morning at the Castle Stuart links course to match the previous best round in the tournament's 40-year history, set by Paul Curry in 1992 when he shot a 60 at the par-70 Gleneagles. Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark was also bogey free to lead the chasing pack on 7 under, with top-ranked Luke Donald two shots further back in the defense of his title despite a sloppy finish to his round of 67. Molinari continued his form from last week's French Open, where he made nine birdies in his final 17 holes to close with a 64 and finish second behind Marcel Siem. All of his birdies on Thursday came on the first 15 holes - starting on the back nine - meaning he has posted 19 birdies in the last 32 holes he has played. ''It's fantastic to have two rounds like this and in Paris one after the other,'' said Molinari. ''I hope to continue this form a bit longer, not just for the (British) Open next week but for the Ryder Cup (in September).'' He made four straight birdies on holes 3-6 to give himself a chance of shooting the European Tour's first ever 59. However, he finished with three pars. ''I realized on the seventh (that he was on for a 59) but Nos. 7 and 8 aren't great birdie chances so I was happy with three pars there,'' he said. The lack of wind meant the course, which hugs the Moray Firth stretch of water in northern Scotland, was there for the taking. The conditions couldn't have been more different to 12 months ago, when the event was reduced to 54 holes after torrential rain and thunder storms caused landslides on two holes. Donald, who won last year with a score of 19 under over three rounds, picked up where he left off to sit 7 under after 13 holes. But he fluffed a short chip beside the fifth green to make bogey and also dropped a shot on No. 8 - his 17th hole. ''The fifth hole halted the momentum but I'm pretty satisfied after being away for three weeks and coming back to find my form so early on,'' said Donald, who is celebrating a 52nd week as No. 1. ''I was just a smidgeon off today but I'm very close to being where I want to be.'' Pablo Larrazabal of Spain was also in the clubhouse alongside Donald on 5 under, a stroke behind Robert Coles and Shane Lowry. Andrew Johnston of England added his name to the growing band of players to make a hole-in-one when he knocked in an 8 iron from 167 yards on No. 11. Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen both shot a 69, while Ernie Els made 70 despite taking four shots in the bunker in compiling a double-bogey 7 at No. 6. Phil Mickelson was among the afternoon starters and one of 156 players using the tournament for some links preparation ahead of next week's British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

John Elway: 2015 Broncos could be best defense ever

Lakers and Cavs discussed Kobe-LeBron trade in 2007

Report: Hiring Scott Brooks could help Knicks land Durant

Report: Tyreke Evans to undergo surgery, miss rest of season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Sabathia on post-rehab health: The best I've felt in three years

Carmelo Anthony says he's putting his trust in Phil Jackson

Lynn Swann: Calvin Johnson not a Hall of Famer

NFL requiring background checks for combine participants

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

Craig Sager: From the brink of death to the NBA All-Star Game

Michael Oher slid backwards during play in Super Bowl 50

Magic interested in Blake Griffin trade?

Brandon Marshall on Newton’s presser: ‘You can’t do that’

Oscillation, thy name is Pablo Sandoval

Mat Latos could be the steal of free agency

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Golf News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker