Fitzpatrick set the tone at next year’s Ryder Cup, with McIlroy a returning as he seeks to extend his advantage in the DP World Tour standings; Watch the DS Automobiles Italian Open Friday from 7.30am on Sky Sports Golf
Last update: 09/15/22 19:28
Highlights from Rory McIlroy’s first round at the Italian Open, where the Northern Irishman scored a four under 67 at the Marco Simone GC.
Matt Fitzpatrick topped the leaderboard after a weather-troubled first day at the DS Automobiles Italian Open, where Rory McIlroy bounced back from a slow start to impress as well.
Fitzpatrick had five under his round with three holes to go at Marco Simone GC when play was suspended due to poor light, following lightning which delayed the start of the opening round earlier in the daytime.
The US Open champion landed shots in the second and seventh, before continuing his bogey-free start to the week and moving forward with three straight birdies from the 11th.
Fitzpatrick will return at 7.30am local time (6.30am GMT) on Friday to complete his first round, the Englishman resuming with a one-shot advantage over a field of eight players – including McIlroy – on four under.
“It was really boring,” Fitzpatrick said after being unable to finish. “I was trying to push us as fast as possible, but the rest of the peloton are obviously playing a bit slower. Especially when you’re having a good lap, you just want to keep going, but that’s how it is.”
Joost Luiten and Alvaro Quiros are a shot behind with five and two holes to play respectively, while McIlroy lived up to his pre-tournament billing by scoring an eagle and three birdies over his last seven holes. to score a four under 67.
McIlroy nearly came out of the rough on the tenth – his first hole of the day – only to bogey the next day, struggle for a three-putt par on the 12th and nullify a close-range birdie on the 16th by missing a five-footer from page to save normal to 17th.
Rory McIlroy says his eagle on the third hole kicked off his first round at the Italian Open.
Last week’s BMW PGA Championship runner-up drilled a 20ft to avoid another bogey on the 18th before a holey eagle from the third fairway sparked a charge down the leaderboard, with a 12ft birdie on the fifth followed by a back- consecutive wins from the eighth.
When asked what he was thinking midway through his round, McIlroy replied sky sports“I probably shouldn’t have stayed up so late last night! I felt like I was still half asleep playing that front nine.
Rory McIlroy hits an eagle-two on the third hole of the first round of the Italian Open on next year’s Ryder Cup course, Marco Simone GC.
“That eagle obviously sparked something and kind of kicked my round off a bit and I played some really good golf along the way. Can’t complain, played the tougher nine well today and the nine easier ones not so great. I just need to clean up in a few days.”
Eddie Pepperell, Scott Jamieson, Antoine Rozner, Adri Arnaus and Gavin Green are also all four under, while defending champion Nicolai Hojgaard is two off the pace and captain Luke Donald is three behind with four holes remaining. .
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September 16, 2022, 8:30 a.m.
“It was tough out there, but I managed to play solid golf, really good golf the first nine holes, then I lost a bit of rhythm on the back nine from the tee and put me in some tough positions off the tee,” Hojgaard said. “But above all, it’s a good start for the defence.”
Viktor Hovland, playing alongside Fitzpatrick and among other players making the trip to Rome ahead of the venue for next year’s Ryder Cup, is an under after 15 holes and among players returning to finish on Friday.
Watch the DS Automobiles Italian Open all week long live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday with the bands featured from 7.30am on Sky Sports Golf, before full coverage from 12.30pm.