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Edoardo Molinari putts way to a 62
November 10, 2011

Edoardo Molinari put on a putting masterclass to take an early lead at the $6 million Singapore Open on Thursday, the Italian Ryder Cup player firing 10 birdies on his way to a nine-under par 62.

On a still day at the Sentosa Golf Club, Molinari brushed off the sweltering conditions and made the most of playing his opening round on the easier Tanjong Course at the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour event split over two layouts.

The Italian’s lone bogey on the ninth ended a run of four birdies over his opening eight holes but an inward six-under 29 took him a stroke clear of South Korea’s Y.E. Yang, who had completed a bogey-free 63 just a few minutes earlier.

“It was a very good round. I may have missed a few shots but my putting was excellent today,” the 30-year-old Italian told reporters.

“I holed pretty much everything inside 10 feet, which is what you have to do on this course. It’s not a long course and you use a lot of wedges, so your short game needs to be good.

Molinari admitted the heat and humidity had bothered him early on but after he settled into his round, he was able to forget about the conditions.

“As you can see I am soaking wet,” he added. “Sometimes it’s difficult as it’s warm and humid, … difficult to breathe but after a while you get used to it and it’s the same for everyone, so no point in complaining.”

Yang sat alone in second in the clubhouse, while South Africa’s Jbe Kruger shot a brilliant six-under 65 on the more difficult Serapong Course to join a tie for fourth with three other players.

“When I teed off four under was leading so I thought Tanjong is relatively the easier one of the two courses so I probably needed a good start ahead of tomorrow,” Yang said.

“Because it was four under leading, I wanted to hit four or five under. Fortunately for me, I exceeded my expectations so tomorrow, I will be a lot more comfortable.”

The 204-man field will play a round apiece on both layouts before the final two rounds take place on the Serapong Course over the weekend.

One of the tournament’s major drawcards, Phil Mickelson, had a disappointing day playing in the same group as Yang, the American rallying with two late birdies to salvage an even par 71 on Tanjong that will leave him struggling to make the cut.

“I birdied 15 and 16 to get it back to even par on the day. I like the Serapong Course and hopefully I’ll get a good round going tomorrow to get in it for the weekend,” a dishevelled-looking Mickelson said, sweating profusely after signing his card at the scorer’s cabin.

“The scoring average on this course is going to be three or four under par, so anything at par is not going to be considered a very good round.

“You can shoot low on the other course as well but it’s a lot longer, so more difficult,” the popular American added before being swamped by an excited throng of autograph hunters.

World number 14 Graeme McDowell is the highest-ranked European player in the tournament and the Northern Irishman was three-under par after nine holes of his opening round on the Serapong Course.

Scores

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