Defending champion Molinari shares lead at Italian Open

MONZA, Italy — Defending champion and home favorite Francesco Molinari was among six players who shared a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Italian Open.

Jamie Donaldson, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Eddie Pepperell, Matt Wallace and Alexander Bjork also shot 7-under 64s Thursday at the Golf Club Milano, next to Monza’s Formula One circuit.

George Coetzee and An Byeong-hun were both one stroke back in the Rolex Series event, which has an increased purse of $7 million this year as part of the buildup to the 2022 Ryder Cup outside Rome.

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