"At the moment, I'm very comfortable, I'm enjoying playing golf," Molinari said. "I've been going through a tough few years so at the minute I'm just really enjoying myself on the golf course." Three straight birdies on the final three holes gave 2015 Czech Masters champion Thomas Pieters of Belgium a bogey-free round of 5-under 67 and sole second at 134.
Sharing third position on 135, three shots off the lead, were Sweden's Robert Karlsson (68), Austria's Matthias Schwab (65), Englishman Sam Horsfield (66), and Chile's Hugo Leon (69). Defending champion Andrea Pavan of Italy was among seven golfers tied for seventh after posting 68.
Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington was on 141 after a 68. Another multiple major winner Ernie Els (73), former world No. 1 Lee Westwood (72) and Eddie Pepperell (71), the highest ranked player at the European Tour event at No. 41, all missed the cut.
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