Fabulous Fitzpatrick oozing long-game control in Italy
Home favourite Molinari starts well
Sky Sports Golf, 9.30am Friday
English duo Robert Rock and Laurie Canter set the early pace in the Italian Open, the unfancied outsiders each firing an eight-under-par opening round of 63 at Gardagolf Country Club.
Favouritism, though, remains in the hands of local hero Francesco Molinari, who carded a bogey-free 66 to lurk menacingly just off the pace, the ante-post 10-1 chance staying the same price after 18 holes. Matt Fitzpatrick is also five under par, shortening from 18-1 to 11-1.
Second-round threeball punters should consider Fitzpatrick, who is swinging superbly and made tee-to-green golf look easy in round one. The Sheffield lad missed numerous chances and left the course fuming about missed putts, but if he hits his ball with as much assurance in round two, another low score is inevitable.
Fitzpatrick beat playing partners Alexander Levy and Alexander Noren in round one and is a fair price for a repeat. Noren struggled for much of his first round and does not appear to have brought his A-game from Wentworth.
1pt 13-8 Sky Bet
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