Molinari and Kuchar among first-round leaders in Scotland
Former champion Edoardo Molinari and Matt Kuchar both opened with eight-under-par 63s to grab a share of the lead at the Scottish Open on Thursday.
Fresh off his best finish of the season at last week’s Irish Open, Molinari carded his lowest round of the season to lie on eight under alongside Kuchar, countryman Nino Bertasio and Frenchman Romain Wattel at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick.
Back in 2010, Molinari won the Scottish Open and the Johnnie Walker Championship on the way to earning a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, although in recent years injury problems and bad form have seen him play a distant second to brother Francesco, who will defend the Claret Jug at Portrush next week.
“I’m in a good place at the minute,” he said. “It seems like every week I’m playing better. I’m building something every week and when you play golf like this, it’s quite easy but then everything can change in a very short amount of time.
“You just have to be careful and keep doing the same things and hopefully the results continue to improve.”
The course was definitely there for the taking on Thursday, and Molinari and Kuchar, who finished second in this event four years ago, each had a pair of eagles in their rounds.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 11, 2019
Wattel, meanwhile, birdied six holes on the front nine and added three more on the other side while dropping just one stroke.
It feels really good,” he said. “Really happy with the way I played. It hasn’t been a really good year for me so far. I changed my coach last year and it takes time to rebuild the golf swing so I’m working and trying my best.”
The quartet lie one shot clear of seven others on a tightly packed leaderboard. English duo Lee Slattery and Andy Sullivan both opened with seven-under 64s, as did South African pair Erik van Rooyen and Thomas Aiken.
Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson are among those on six under, two shots back, while Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are four behind after a pair of 67s.
Matt Wallace is five back after an opening 68, while Rickie Fowler had to settle for a level-par 71.
Ryder Cup golfer Thorbjorn Olesen grabbed woman’s breast on flight, court told
Thorbjorn Olesen is said to have been drinking and taking sleeping pills on the flight from the US to the UK.
Collin Morikawa throws away big lead as Viktor Hovland wins Hero World Challenge
Hovland began the day six shots off the pace but carded a closing 66 at Albany to secure his third title of the season.
Rory McIlroy: Players want to know where they stand amid golf’s power struggle
The Northern Irishman was speaking ahead of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Tiger Woods says he is ‘lucky to be alive’ after crash but has ‘long way to go’
The 45-year-old 15-time major winner was in pain throughout as he addressed his first press conference since February’s crash.
Tiger Woods rules out full-time return to golf after serious car crash
The 45-year-old required surgery on open fractures to his lower right leg after the single-vehicle accident in February.
Lee Elder, the first black player to compete in the Masters, dies aged 87
Elder joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary starter at Augusta National just over seven months ago.
Suzann Pettersen lands ‘dream’ job as Solheim Cup captain
The Norwegian will be going for a hat-trick of Europe wins after taking over from Catriona Matthew.
Lee Westwood rules himself out of contention for 2023 Ryder Cup captaincy
Westwood says he cannot commit fully to the role while he is still competitive as a player.
Collin Morikawa wins Race to Dubai as Rory McIlroy’s frustrations boil over
The Northern Irishman appeared to rip his shirt open in the recording area behind the 18th green.
Tiger Woods shares footage of him hitting balls as rehab continues
Woods was injured in a car accident in February.