Date: September 21, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Aguilar, Molinari, Thornton share lead in Turin

Felipe Aguilar shot a six-under-par 66 to take the joint lead at the end of the second day of the Italian Open on Friday. The Chilean world number 148 shot seven birdies in his second round, with his only bogey coming on the 16th hole as he produced an accomplished performance at the Golf Club Torino. Aguilar now shares the lead with home hope Francesco Molinari and Ireland&aposs Simon Thornton, who both went five under for the day to keep pace at the top of the leaderboard. Molinari – who won the title in 2006 – would have enjoyed an even better day were it not for bogeys at holes six and 11. But world number 328 Thornton was consistent throughout, his only bogey coming at the 17th as he put himself in contention for a second European Tour title following victory at the Saint-Omer Open in June. Molinari is playing with the added pressure of being the Italian crowd&aposs favourite, but the 30-year-old insists he is enjoying the weight of expectation. “I said at the beginning of the week I didn&apost want to think of anything but try to enjoy the week, try to make some birdies and I&aposll try to do the same Saturday and Sunday,” he explained. “It has been brilliant so far so let&aposs hope it continues to stay that way over the weekend. You have to embrace it, have fun; I smile on the course when I see people I know and I know they are rooting for me so I just try to enjoy it.” It promises to be a tight finish in the final two days, with a clutch of players within touching distance of the lead. Ireland&aposs David Higgins sits at eight under along with Belgium&aposs Nicolas Colsaerts and Englishman Steve Webster, while Australian Marcus Fraser and Germany&aposs Maximilian Kieffer are on seven under. Spain&aposs Alejandro Canizares is among those sitting at six under, with compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal a shot further back. Italy&aposs Matteo Manassero is the highest ranked player in the field, and he is still very much in contention at four under. There was disappointment for America&aposs Brooks Koepka, though, the world number 98 missing the cut after going three over in his first two rounds. England&aposs Mark Foster could also be one to watch at five under on Saturday, having shot the second day&aposs best round of 65 in response to a poor opening score of 74. Robert Allenby (-1) and Scott Hend (-1) were the only other Australians to make the cut with Richard Green (E) not doing enough to earn himself a chance to continue into the weekend.