Freddy Schott continued his red-hot form in the blistering heat at the Italian Challenge to take a share of the first round lead at Golf Nazionale.
The German posted a five under par round of 66 in Viterbo, with Swedish duo Robin Petersson and Joakim Wikstrom, Norway’s Kristian Krogh Johannessen and Spaniard Ivan Cantero Gutierrez also claiming a share of the one-stroke lead after round one.
Schott has recorded a pair of top four finishes in his last two starts on the Road to Mallorca and feels well-equipped to deal with the high Italian temperatures after taking up residency in Cape Town.
“I’m happy with my days work, especially in the heat today,” he said. “It wasn’t a quick start, but I played some great golf on the back nine and managed to hole some putts, so overall it was a good round of golf.
“Luckily, I’m used to this heat because I spend a lot of time in Cape Town. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week because I enjoy these temperatures.”
Co-leader Petersson believes a conservative approach is key to navigating Golf Nazionale due to the tight fairways and thick rough around the greens.
“I’m very happy because it’s tough out there with how hot it is,” he said. “The course plays pretty tricky with some narrow fairways and if you don’t hit the greens you have some tough up and downs.
“I was very good off the tee today and I was never really in any big trouble. If I missed the fairway I managed to advance it forward and I was in a good position to save par from there.
“I’m delighted with five under par and my game feels in good shape. Hopefully I can continue to do the right things and put myself into contention come Sunday afternoon.”
South African Deon Germishuys and Sweden’s Christopher Feldborg Nielsen share sixth place on four under par, while ten players share eighth on three under, including Belgian Christopher Mivis and Portugal’s Tomas Gouveia.