Edoardo Molinari takes two-shot lead at Czech Masters

Former Ryder Cup player cards second consecutive 66 in Prague

 Italy’s Edoardo Molinari  putts on the 16th green during the second round of the D+D Real Czech Masters at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari putts on the 16th green during the second round of the D+D Real Czech Masters at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

 

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari will take a two-shot lead into the third round of the D+D Real Czech Masters after another flawless performance in Prague.

Molinari carded a second consecutive 66 for a halfway total of 12 under par and the former Ryder Cup player has yet to drop a single shot at Albatross Golf Resort as he seeks a fourth European Tour title.

Former champion Thomas Pieters is Molinari’s nearest challenger on 10 under following a second straight 67, with Sweden’s Robert Karlsson, Austrian Matthias Schwab, England’s Sam Horsfield and Chile’s Hugo Leon a shot further back.

“I’m definitely playing differently on the course, I’m giving myself lots of chances,” said Molinari, who won twice in Scotland in 2010 to earn a Ryder Cup wild card and also won the Trophee Hassan II in 2017.

“Even today I could have made a few putts more and it’s just the way it is at the minute. I’m playing very consistently, the equipment change helped me a lot at the beginning of the year.

“At the moment I’m very comfortable, I’m enjoying playing golf. I’ve been going through a tough few years so at the minute I’m just really enjoying myself on the golf course. I’m playing well so life is good at the minute.”

Pieters, who won his maiden title in Prague four years ago but has not recorded an individual victory since 2016, carded two birdies and 13 pars in his first 15 holes before picking up shots on the 16th, 17th and 18th.

“On 15 I told my caddie I was a bit bored today, I was playing well but I wasn’t making anything,” the Belgian told Sky Sports. “I was two under and a few back so it was nice to finish that way.”

Karlsson is just 18 days away from celebrating his 50th birthday and admits he has one eye on the lucrative seniors circuit, but the Ryder Cup vice-captain is firmly in contention for a 12th European Tour title and a first since 2010.

“It was very nice,” Karlsson said. “I’ve been working hard this summer and I’ve been doing good rounds here and there but haven’t put it together, so it’s nice to put at least two together.

“I’m here so I want to play good here but at the same time yes, Tour school at the end of the year for Champions Tour [is on my mind].

“I’ve given myself a little bit more slack this year, not pushing too hard for the results and looked a little bit more long-term and want to play really well at the end of the season coming into Tour school in a good frame of mind.”

A bogey-free four-under-par 68 helped Pádraig Harrington make the weekend cut with a shot the spare on three under, the same mark as Paul Dunne, who signed for a 71. Gavin Moynihan’s 71 left him one shot outside the cut as he finished on two under.

LEADERBOARD
(British and Irish unless stated, par 72, (a) denotes amateur)

132 Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 66 66

134 Thomas Pieters (Bel) 67 67

135 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 67 68, Hugo Leon (USA) 66 69, Sam Horsfield 69 66, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 70 65

136 Joachim B Hansen (Den) 66 70, Adri Arnaus (Esp) 71 65, Liam Johnston 67 69, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 68 68, Rikard Karlberg (Swe) 69 67, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 69 67, Lee Slattery 65 71

137 JC Ritchie (Rsa) 70 67, Matthew Nixon 70 67, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 66 71, Jack Singh Brar 69 68, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 67, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 70 67, Wilco Nienaber (a) (Rsa) 69 68, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 67 70, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 65 72

138 Sihwan Kim (Kor) 70 68, Kalle Samooja (Fin) 68 70, Berry Henson (USA) 70 68, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 68 70, Ashley Chesters 70 68, Kim Koivu (Fin) 66 72, Daniel Gavins 71 67, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Esp) 71 67, Jason Scrivener (Aus) 67 71, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 69 69

139 Alexander Bjork (Swe) 71 68, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 69 70, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 70 69, Scott Jamieson 72 67, Renato Paratore (Ita) 71 68, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 70 69, Romain Wattel (Fra) 68 71, Chris Hanson 69 70, Tom Murray 70 69, Gavin Green (Mal) 64 75, John Catlin (USA) 70 69

140 David Howell 69 71, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Esp) 70 70, Matthew Southgate 70 70, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 72 68, Chris Lloyd 70 70, Alexander Levy (Fra) 70 70, Dimitrios Papadatos (Aus) 71 69

141 Ben Evans 72 69, Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 70 71, Aaron Rai 72 69, Oliver Fisher 69 72, Jeff Winther (Den) 69 72, Paul Dunne 70 71, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 70 71, Bryce Easton (Rsa) 68 73, Robert Macintyre 69 72, Bradley Dredge 70 71, Soomin Lee (Kor) 68 73, Liam Robinson 70 71, Mathiam Keyser (Rus) 71 70, Richie Ramsay 70 71, Espen Kofstad (Nor) 74 67, Paul Waring 70 71, Stuart Manley 71 70, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 67 74, James Morrison 73 68, Justin Walters (Rsa) 72 69, Pádraig Harrington 73 68

MISSED CUT

142 Anton Karlsson (Swe) 71 71, Callum Shinkwin 66 76, Gavin Moynihan 71 71, Kristian Krogh Johannessen (Nor) 71 71, Hyo-won Park (Kor) 69 73, Julian Suri (USA) 69 73, Stephen Gallacher 70 72, Eduardo Ger Lao Riva (Esp) 71 71, Jamie Donaldson 70 72, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 70 72, Pedro Oriol (Esp) 72 70, Marcel Schneider (Ger) 71 71

143 Steven Brown 69 74, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 73 70, Lasse Jensen (Den) 71 72, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 74 69, Pep Angles (Esp) 69 74, Nick Cullen (Aus) 72 71, Josh Geary (Nzl) 77 66, Marc Warren 71 72, Philipp Mejow (Ger) 72 71, Jakub Bares (Cze) 70 73, Ryan Evans 69 74, Per Langfors (Swe) 74 69, Johannes Veerman (USA) 72 71, Joel Girrbach (Swi) 70 73

144 David Law 72 72, Nick McCarthy 71 73, Michal Pospisil (Cze) 73 71, David Horsey 74 70, Jonathan Thomson 72 72, Brett Rumford (Aus) 70 74, Pavol Mach (Svk) 73 71, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 70 74, Stanislav Matus (Cze) 71 73, Ales Korinek (Cze) 70 74, Eddie Pepperell 73 71

145 Filip Mruzek (Cze) 73 72, Filippo Bergamaschi (Ita) 73 72, Christopher Sahlstrom (Swe) 70 75, David Borda (Esp) 72 73, Jan Cafourek (Cze) 73 72, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 72 73, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 72 73, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 71 74, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 71 74, Lee Westwood 73 72

146 Duncan Stewart 72 74, Ernie Els (Rsa) 73 73, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 76 70, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 70 76

147 Christofer Blomstrand (Swe) 72 75, Yi-Keun Chang (Kor) 72 75, Marcel Siem (Ger) 74 73, Alejandro Canizares (Esp) 72 75, Max Orrin 76 71, George Coetzee (Rsa) 73 74, Peter Valasek (Svk) 73 74

148 Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 74 74, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 73 75, Daniel Suchan (Cze) 78 70, (a) Simon null Zach (Cze) 74 74, Petr Gal (Cze) 75 73, Jin-ho Choi (Kor) 76 72

149 Max Schmitt (Ger) 77 72, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 73 76, Sam Brazel (Aus) 73 76, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 74 75, Paul Peterson (USA) 74 75

150 Adrien Saddier (Fra) 73 77, Jarin Todd (USA) 77 73, Filip Raza (Svk) 77 73, Lukas Tintera (Cze) 74 76, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 74 76, Scott Gregory 74 76

151 (a) Jiri Zuska (Cze) 74 77, Grant Forrest 75 76

152 Adam Bland (Aus) 73 79

153 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 76 77

154 Aaron Leitmannstetter (Ger) 73 81

155 Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 79 76, Stefan Palenik (Svk) 78 77

156 Petr Hruby (Ger) 78 78

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