Sport Golf

Saturday 16 December 2017

Karlberg probably the best in Italian Open

Paul Dunne and Paul McGinley, pictured, were the only Irish players to get through 18 holes Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Paul Dunne and Paul McGinley, pictured, were the only Irish players to get through 18 holes Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Thunder and lightning caused significant disruption to the Italian Open in Monza yesterday.

Play was suspended twice in the morning and just 78 players completed their opening rounds before darkness ruled out further progress

Defending champion Rikard Karlberg was one of those who managed to get to the clubhouse with his first round intact,and he did so in style, shooting a seven-under-par 64 to set a hot pace at the head of the leaderboard.

Home fans enjoyed the performance of Francesco Molinari who fired a 65 to lie just one shot behind.

Another Swede, veteran Robert Karlsson and Spain's Adrian Otaegui, both carded 66. Clearly good scores are available on this course if the weather does not cause further delays.

Paul Dunne and Paul McGinley were the only Irish players to get through 18 holes.

Dunne filed a level par 71, while McGinley, whose golf has been curtailed due to injury and Irish Olympics duty, shot 76.

Padraig Harrington, making his first appearance on Tour since playing at Olympics in Rio, had to wait around most of the day before finally teeing off in the late evening.

The Dubliner managed to finish only three holes - he birdied two of them - and now has 15 to complete in round one before he can contemplate his second round. Michael Hoey was on level par after five holes.

The players faced a 7.30am start this morning as tournament officials attempt to get the schedule on track.

European Ryder Cup team members Danny Willett, Matt Fitzpatrick and Martin Kaymer only played the first hole, but all of them got a birdie.

Italian Open, Live Sky Sports 4, 12.30pm

Irish Independent

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