TURIN, Italy (AP) — Paul Lawrie overcame the worst of the weather to shoot a 5-under 67 Thursday and share the lead in the first round of the rain-delayed Italian Open.
The start of the tournament was delayed two hours to repair damage to the waterlogged course. Lawrie was among the late finishers before play was halted because of darkness with 30 golfers still to complete their rounds.
The Scottish player was tied atop the leaderboard with Marcus Fraser of Australia and English duo Graeme Storm and Robert Rock – who all played in calmer conditions.
Lawrie began his round late in the afternoon just as heavy rain set in, but still managed six birdies to go with a bogey on the 17th.
“It did get fairly messy out there while I was playing, compared to the conditions in the morning,” Lawrie said. “So to shoot 5-under was a really good score. I struggled a bit from tee to green, but putted magnificently. I holed three putts of over 30 foot from the fringe of greens.”
David Drysdale, another Scottish player who also went out late in the day, shot a 68. He’s one shot off the lead in a four-man group that included David Horsey of England, Stephen Dodd of Wales and Hennie Otto of South Africa.
The biggest gallery followed 17-year-old Matteo Manassero (70), a young Italian making his professional debut.
“I enjoyed it,” said Manassero, the low amateur at last month’s Masters. “I played good golf and I stayed patient.”
Veteran Colin Montgomerie (76) played alongside Manassero.
“I was very impressed by Matteo,” he said. “Very impressed that he could shoot that at 17 years old.”