Golf: Italy starts strong at Scottish

Molinari and Bertasio lead with Kuchar and Wattel

Redazione ANSA Rome

(ANSA) - Rome, July 12 - Italy had a strong start on the first day of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open on Thursday, with Nino Bertasio and Edoardo Molinari who, with a first round of 63 (-8), earned a temporary lead together with Matt Kuchar of the US and Romain Wattel of France on the green at the par-71 Renaissance Club.
    In North Berwick in the third 2019 tournament of the Rolex Series, Bertasio had no bogies and eight birdies. Molinari, nicknamed "Dodo", had two eagles, five birdies, and one bogey.
    "I've been playing well for a few weeks; now I have to pay attention," Molinari said.
    "The hope is to keep up this pace," he said.
    This tournament precedes the Open Championship on July 18-21 in Northern Ireland, the fourth and last major of the season.
    Along with Molinari and Bertasio, Italian golfer Guido Migliozzi also did well, coming in 18th place (66, -5), just four strokes from the leaders.
    Renato Paratore also had a good day, coming in 29th at 67, -4. All six Italian players came in under par, including Andrea Pavan and Lorenzo Gagli tied in 54th (68, -3), alongside, among others, the reigning Scottish Open champion Brandon Stone of South Africa.
    In a tournament with many big international names on the green, Bertasio and Molinari stole the scene.
    After taking the lead, they were looking back at high-caliber opponents including Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, ranked third and fourth worldwide, respectively, both at 67, -4. Thursday was a great day for Italian golf overall, with Molinari and Bertasio at the Scottish Open and Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso in the lead and Stefania Avanzo in second place at the Ribeira Sacra Patrimonio De La Humanidad International Ladies Open in the LET Access Series, the second-largest European women's circuit.
    In addition, the Italian Ladies and Girls advanced to the semifinals in the European championships, in Sardinia and Spain, respectively.