Defending champion Francesco Molinari among Italian Open leaders

Defending champion Francesco Molinari among Italian Open leaders

The 30-year-old Aucklander birdied the par-five ninth but dropped shots at the par-three 10th and 12th holes and another at the par-four 17th.

Three Irish players are going well heading into the second round of the Italian Open. Molinari was among the day one leaders but while he picked up six birdies, his charge was tempered by three bogeys. He finished his front nine in style, chipping in for a birdie at the 18th to get to five under before picking up further shots at the first and second. "I'm pretty proud of myself and it's quite reassuring that I still can play golf!"

"I felt like I've putted well and scrambled well this week", Fraser added.

"I just played good golf out there today and it's ideal weather for us to shoot low", Wallace said.

Last year's victor Francesco Molinari is seven under par alongside Jamie Donaldson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Alexander Bjork, Eddie Pepperell and Matt Wallace.

The highlight of Aphibarnrat's round came when he eagled the 14th, while Donaldson finished with a spectacular three at the par-five ninth - nearly holing his second shot, with his driver, from 291 yards.

Wales' Jamie Donaldson, one of six men to lead after a 64 on day one, is two back after a 67 in the lucrative event, which is part of the Rolex Series.

Padraig Harrington is back on two over.