Scottish Open: Greens key to Molinari & Canizares surge

Italy's Francesco Molinari

The Scottish Open

Venue:
Castle Stuart Golf Links
Date:
12-15 July
Coverage:
BBC Two, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Sport website

Leaderboard after first round (par 72)

-10:
F Molinari (Ita)
-8:
A Canizares (Spa)
-7:
S Kjeldsen (Den), R Jacquelin (Fra)
-6:
J Milkha Singh (Ind), A Noren (Swe), F Jacobson (Swe), A Marshall (Eng), R Coles (Eng), S Lowry (Ire), P Lawrie (Ire)
Selected others:
-5 L Donald (Eng), -5 M Kaymer (Ger), -3 P Harrington (Ire), -3 J-M Olazabal, -2 E Els (SA), S Lyle (Sco)

Francesco Molinari hit a course-record 62, with Alejandro Canizares emphasising his form on day one at the Scottish Open.

Italy's at Castle Stuart.

And the Spaniard, who began his round at the 10th hole at 14:00 BST, ended with six birdies.

"The greens are rolling nicely so if you pick the right line you are going to make a lot of putts," said Molinari.

While his course record will be the score to make the headlines, the man from Valderrama's eight under is arguably just as impressive.

As Molinari enjoyed his first round in perfectly still conditions, Canizares had to contend with a stiffening breeze and, remarkably, had reverted to an old putter earlier in the day.

"It was just fantastic," said the Italian, whose last nine holes of competitive golf had taken him only 29 shots at the French Open on Sunday.

"The weather conditions were very nice for us; it was a calm morning.

Alejandro Canizares
Canizares carded nine birdies and one bogey

"If you get a breeze it is going to be a different golf course.

"I was very solid off the tee and very good putting on the greens.

"I know it can't be always like this so I need to get ready for the next three days.

"It is unbelievable to have two rounds that good that close to the other."

Molinari told BBC Radio Five live he enjoyed playing in Scotland and that he had achieved his first top 10 finish at Gleneagles.

Two years ago he finished joint-fourth when his brother Edoardo won the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

"I have been playing well over the year and obviously the putting is making the difference now," he added.

"I just need to try to keep doing the same stuff that I am doing and see where it takes me.

"I had a nightmare day on Saturday in Paris. I had a good session on the putting green in the evening and got a lot of confidence on Sunday there."

Canizares changed from the controversial belly putter he had been using for almost a year to a short putter prior to his round.

"I came in a little earlier and I spent an hour putting," he said.

"I was getting a little uncomfortable with the belly [putter] and since everybody is saying they are going to ban it, I thought I'd go back to the start and it worked out perfectly today.

"It was one of those days when you make every putt you look at.

"It's all you, it's all in your head. When you let it happen and you keep going, your head works in the same way."

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