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Molinari shares lead on home turf

ESPN staff
September 20, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Francesco Molinari is nine under at the Italian Open © Getty Images
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Turin native Francesco Molinari moved into a share of the lead at the Italian Open after carding a five-under 67 in Friday's second round.

Molinari, the 2006 champion, is joined on nine under after 36 holes by Simon Thornton, who shot 67, and Felipe Aguilar who hit a six-under 66.

Having been the centre of attention all week on home soil, Molinari insists he is feeling no strain under the added expectations.

"It adds a little bit of pressure but it's good, it gives you an extra motivation to do well and get focused for 18 holes," Molinari said.

"I said at the beginning of the week I didn't want to think of anything but try to enjoy the week, try to make some birdies and I'll try to do the same Saturday and Sunday.

"It doesn't really matter that I won before, this is a special, special week for me. I was emotional yesterday on the 10th tee at 8am with only 50 people watching so now with all these people on my course it's a great feeling.

"It has been brilliant so far so let's 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."

Nicolas Colsaerts, who had been one of three overnight joint-leaders, sits tied for fourth with David Higgins and Steve Webster, who both carded 69, after his one-under 71 which included bogeys on the first, 16th and 18th holes.

Colsaerts said: "It's always tough to follow a day of prime striking. I missed only one green yesterday and everything was going my way pretty much.

"Then I started with a bogey today with a seven iron in my hand so that doesn't really get you in the greatest of moods."

Maximilian Kieffer had been one of the co-leaders coming into the second round but an even-par 72 saw him fall back to tie for seventh place at seven under.

Ricardo Gonzalez, the other overnight leader, has a share of ninth place at six under after his disappointing one-over 73.

Italian Open leaderboard - round two complete:

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