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Thursday, 23 May 2019
Edoardo Molinari  (European Tour)
Edoardo Molinari (European Tour)

Edoardo Molinari will take a share of the lead into day two of the Made in Denmark presented by FREJA after high winds made scoring tricky in round one at Himmerland Golf & Spa Resort.

The three time European Tour winner had got to seven under but, as the winds increased, he gave up two late bogeys to sign for a 66 and a share of the lead at five under alongside Spaniard Alejandro Cañizares and English trio Tom Murray, Matthew Southgate and Paul Waring.

Defending champion Matt Wallace - fresh off finishing third at the US PGA Championship - was in the group at four under, with 46 players within three shots of the lead.

Italian Molinari knows a thing or two about battling after his recent injury troubles, with the 2010 Ryder Cup star coming through the Qualifying School in 2015 and 2016 before claiming his third victory the following season at the Trophée Hassan II.

He made a slow start to the 2019 Race to Dubai but has made his last two cuts and as he finds some consistency, and was delighted to master the elements in Farsø.

"I had a good round of golf today," he said. "It was quite windy, I hit the ball very solid. I made a few putts on my front nine, missed a couple of putts coming in when it was very windy. Overall it's been a good day.

"I wasn't trying to make that many birdies, it was so windy I was just trying to hit greens and give myself good looks at birdies."

There was an eight way tie for the lead among the early jostling, with Wallace among those at four under.

He birdied the 11th and 14th, spun his approach to tap-in range at the famous 16th and added another gain on the 18th to turn in 31.

Countryman Southgate was the first man to break out of the group, making birdies at the 12th and 13th to add to gains at the first, fourth and fifth but he soon had company.

Molinari had birdied the 11th but gave the shot back on the next before making gains on the 12th, 14th, 16th, first and second.

Waring endured a roller coaster of a round as he set the early target, bogeying the second but making an eagle on the fifth before birdies on the seventh and eighth saw him turn in 33.

He birdied the 11th but gave the shot back on the 13th before making further gains on the 14th and 16th.

Southgate made a third birdie in a row on the 14th to hit the front on his own but Molinari joined him with a 15 foot left to righter on the fourth.

A Southgate bogey on the 15th left Molinari alone in top spot and he took advantage of the par five fifth with an up-and-down to lead by two.

The 38-year-old then three putted the sixth and seventh and slipped into a four way tie for the lead alongside Southgate, Waring and Cañizares.

The two time European Tour winner made a fast start with birdies on the first, fourth, fifth and seventh but bogeyed the ninth to turn in 33.

Further gains on the 13th and 16th put him in a share of the lead and Murray soon made it a five way tie at the top.

The 29-year-old birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th and, while he gave a shot back at the 18th, he made further gains on the fourth, fifth and seventh.

Wallace bogeyed the seventh but picked the shot straight back up on the next to stay at four under and he was joined there in the afternoon by Swedish pair Pelle Edberg and Joakim Lagergren, American John Catlin, Frenchman Benjamin Hebert and Scot Robert MacIntyre.

There were then 18 players at three under including multiple European Tour winners Michael Hoey, Pablo Larrazábal, Victor Dubuisson and Bernd Wiesberger.

Local favourite Martin Simonsen got the first big cheer of the week on Himmerland Hill as he made the 13th hole-in-one of the season at the 16th.

The Dane holed from 96 yards with a 54 degree wedge to win both himself and his caddie a cart from Garia Luxury Golf Carts worth 275,000 krone.

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