Molinari and Wiesberger lead

European Tour

Fransesco Molinari and Bernd Wiesberger are tied for the opening round of the Italian Open on Thursday.

The duo each carded six under 66’s to top the leaderboard at Circolo Golf Torino in Italy, one stroke ahead of a chasing pack that includes America’s John Hahn and Richard Bland of England.

The Austrian got off to a fast start, finding himself three under after four holes. Three more birdies on 11, 12 and 15 along with some par’s would see him finish a bogey free round.

Molinari would also keep blemishes off his scorecard in an excellent round where he rolled in six birdies. The Italian hopes to impress European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley this weekend and make it as a wildcard pick for Gleneagles.

“I had a chat with Paul when he got here and I think the good thing is that he knows what I can bring to the team because he has seen me as vice-captain on the last two teams,” revealed the 31-year-old on europeantour.com.

“But it’s up to me to prove that I really want it and am playing well enough. I think anything less than a win would not be enough so I have to aim for that.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Gallacher, the only player who can still automatically qualify for the European Ryder Cup team, carded an even-par 72. The Scot will need a few low rounds if he is to finish in the top two make the historic team event.

“I’m a bit disappointed because I threw away a couple of shots midway through my round, but it’s okay for the first day and I am only one good score away from the top of the leaderboard,” admitted Gallacher.

“I know I have to finish first or second, that’s not going to change, so I’m not putting any pressure on myself. Once you get out on the course you just try to birdie every hole. That’s the easy part. It’s when you finish you think about the Ryder Cup.”

Also looking to make a Ryder Cup debut is Marc Warren, who recently won in Denmark. The Scot finished with a three under 69 to keep is hopes alive.

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