Defending champion Molinari shares lead at Italian Open

Ryan Fox carded a two-over 73 to miss the cut at the Italian Open by five strokes

STUART FRANKLIN GETTY IMAGES Ryan Fox carded a two-over 73 to miss the cut at the Italian Open by five strokes

Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox has missed the cut at the Italian Open by five strokes after shooting a two-over 73 in the second round on Friday (Saturday NZ Time).

Defending champion and home favorite Francesco Molinari was among six players who shared a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Italian Open.

Molinari chipped in for birdie at No. 18, his ninth hole of the day, and finished with nine birdies and two bogeys. "I'm pretty proud of myself and it's quite reassuring that I still can play golf!"

Fraser, who put together a streak of five successive birdies between holes eight and 12, told "I felt like I've putted well and scrambled well this week".

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The 27-year-old won his first European Tour event, the Open de Portugal, in May which bumped him up from 242 to 127 in the world rankings, and he's looking to double up after a six-under second round saw him keep the lead he had enjoyed overnight.

Last year's victor Francesco Molinari is seven under par alongside Jamie Donaldson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Alexander Bjork, Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace.

Francesco Molinari, another of the overnight front-runners, is three off the pace at 10 under after a 68, with Tyrrell Hatton - last week's victor at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - and Sergio Garcia among those a further shot back.

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