European Tour

Italian Open 2018

May 31 - June 03

Gardagolf Country Club, Brescia Italy

$7,000,000

May 31 - June 03

Gardagolf Country Club, Brescia Italy

$7,000,000

Round 1

Trio tied for lead in Italy

May 31, 2018

Robert Rock, Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne made the most of the scoreable conditions at Gardagolf Country Club to share the lead after the first round of the Italian Open.

Trio tied for lead in Italy, Robert Rock, © Getty Images

- Getty Images

Canter and Rock capitalised with rounds of 63 to set the target at eight under and after an hour and 19 minutes was lost in the afternoon due to storms in the area, it looked like none of the afternoon starters could catch them.

“The course is soft and fairways are playing a bit wider because it's just landing and stopping, and on the greens you have to hole some putts. I holed some sort of the usual, solid birdie putts and holed a couple of bonus ones as well, so that was pretty cool," said Carter.

“It’s nice to come to a tournament that's got a lot of history to it and nice to see your name on the board somewhere. It means a lot. Ten years to win my first event, so hopefully I get to play this for a few more years, anyway, but I'll always remember this one best I think.”

Enter six-time European Tour winner Sterne, who carded a total of ten birdies - including three on the bounce at the end of his round - to make it a three-way tie at the top.

“It was lovely," said Sterne. "The course is playing nice, giving a lot of opportunities, so you've got to take them. I saw a lot of guys shoot quite low this morning. The greens were a bit bumpy this afternoon but it was probably one of the best putting days I've had in many a year, so it was nice."

“It makes the course a bit more accessible. The greens could be pretty quick here if it was firm, but as I said they are pretty soft, so you can get close, and the par fives are reachable. So it takes the long hitters out of play and everybody can attack this week."

There was then a group of nine players with 22 European Tour wins between then at six under, made up of Englishmen Ross Fisher, Charlie Ford, Matt Wallace and Danny Willett, Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, American Daniel Im, Dane Thorbjørn Olesen, Belgian Thomas Pieters and South African Erik van Rooyen.

Canter is looking for his first European Tour title after coming through the Qualifying School the last three seasons, while Rock is seeking win number three at the event where he claimed his maiden victory seven years ago.

Home favourite Francesco Molinari - a two-time winner of this event – is three shots off the pace at five under in the chasing pack as he searches for back-to-back Rolex Series titles.

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
T1
Laurie Canter
ENG
-8
63
T1
Richard Sterne
RSA
-8
63
T1
Robert Rock
ENG
-8
63
T4
Charlie Ford
ENG
-6
65
T4
Daniel Im
USA
-6
65
T4
Danny Willett
ENG
-6
65
T4
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-6
65
T4
Matt Wallace
ENG
-6
65
T4
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-6
65
T4
Ross Fisher
ENG
-6
65
T4
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-6
65
T4
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-6
65
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
T1
Laurie Canter
ENG
-8
63
T1
Richard Sterne
RSA
-8
63
T1
Robert Rock
ENG
-8
63
T4
Charlie Ford
ENG
-6
65
T4
Daniel Im
USA
-6
65
T4
Danny Willett
ENG
-6
65
T4
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-6
65
T4
Matt Wallace
ENG
-6
65
T4
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-6
65
T4
Ross Fisher
ENG
-6
65
T4
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-6
65
T4
Thorbjorn Olesen
DEN
-6
65