BALTRAY, Ireland (AP) Francesco Molinari took advantage of calm conditions to shoot a 9-under 63 Thursday for a one-shot lead after the first round of the Irish Open.
Johan Edfors had a 64, while Paul Lawrie, Oliver Wilson, Nick Dougherty, Robert Rock, Shiv Kapur, Jamie Donaldson and Roop Kakko were in a group three shots behind the leader.
John Daly, who finished second at the Italian Open on Sunday, birdied the last hole for a 68. He expressed relief that the wind didn't blow on the seaside course after battering players in two days of practice.
``It was cold and rainy,'' Daly said. ``I don't think I'd have broken par the other two days, but the lack of wind made it easier.''
Rory McIlroy shot 69, while playing partner Colin Montgomerie had a 70. Darren Clarke had a 71 and Padraig Harrington shot 73.
Molinari made a 30-footer for eagle at the long third hole, and another at the 13th.
The 20-year-old McIlroy started slowly with two bogeys on his first three holes but, played the last 10 in five under.
``My game did not feel comfortable but I got round in three under, so I'm not out of it,'' he said.
Daly sprayed some tee shots, but a 7-iron got him out of the rough at the first and he saved par.
``I feel like I'm doing better with the putter. I chipped and putted pretty good,'' said Daly, playing his third tournament in Europe while serving a six-month PGA Tour suspension.