While Luke Donald began his title defence with a five under par 67 at Castle Stuart Golf Links, the Italian carried on from where he left off at the Alstom Open de France, where he was nine under for his last 17 holes to finish second. Molinari even had a chance of the European Tour's first-ever 59 after ten more birdies in 15 holes.He had to settle for three pars, but his 62 not only broke the record for the Inverness links, but also matched the lowest round in the history of the tournament.
Molinari can actually claim a 59. He played his back nine in 29 on Sunday and his first nine holes in 30 on a morning when conditions could hardly have been better for low scoring."It's not as easy as it looks and I know it won't go on like this," he said.
“It was a great start to the tournament. I just played really solid and holed a few nice putts on the front nine, and just kept it going nicely.
“I missed a couple of chances on the first few holes on the front nine, but it was just fantastic to play golf like that.
"I thought about 59 on the seventh tee (his 16th), but the last three holes are not that easy. Hopefully I will get another chance in the future."
Ernie Els, playing with Donald, had to settle for a two under 70 after taking four shots to get out of a greenside bunker at the long sixth.
There was even a danger for a while it might turn out worse as a television viewer contacted The European Tour about whether Els had tested the sand during his time in there, but he was not penalised.
Lowry joined Coles in third place with a closing birdie, while of the later starters fellow Irishman Peter Lawrie grabbed an eagle and three birdies in his first six holes.
Phil Mickelson birdied the second and third, Martin Laird had three in a row from the second and Paul Lawrie set off with two birdies, but then bogeyed the next.
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