August 29, 2014

Otto shoots 62 to take lead at Italian Open

Hennie Otto cruised to a 10-under 62 on Friday to take a 3-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Italian Open.

Turin, Italy ( - Hennie Otto cruised to a 10-under 62 on Friday to take a 3-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Italian Open.

Beginning the day one shot back of the leaders at Circolo Golf Torino, Otto finished 36 holes at 15-under-par 129 and leads first-round co-leader Bernd Wiesberger by three shots.

"I really played well, hit some good shots and the greens were running well so you were able to make some putts," Otto said. "Something about courses in Italy suits my eye and it would be great to win the tournament. Hopefully I can keep it up and keep going over the weekend."

Otto, who won this event back in 2008, is a two-time winner on the European Tour and he is seeking his first victory since winning the South African Open Championship in 2011. Otto nearly took home the same title earlier this season, but he finished tied for second.

Wiesberger, another two-time winner on tour who ended tied for 15th at this year's PGA Championship after playing in the final pairing with eventual champion Rory McIlroy, carded his second straight 66 and he is in sole possession of second place at 12-under 132.

Ross Fisher is alone in third at 9-under 135 following a 66 on Friday. Rafael Cabrera-Bello (63), James Morrison (66), David Lipsky (67), Morten Orum Madsen (68) and Richie Ramsay (69) are all right behind Fisher at minus-8.

Stephen Gallacher, who is the only player that can clinch an automatic spot on the European Ryder Cup team with either a win or a second-place finish this week, shot a 65 to jump into a tie for ninth at 7-under 137.

"When you tee it up 15 and 12 behind you know you're going to have to be more aggressive and make some birdies so I was delighted to shoot 65 with a double- bogey in the end," said Gallacher. "It would be nice to follow it up with more of the same. I knew I had to go low at some stage and I'm just delighted to get on a run on the back nine."

Francesco Molinari, the 2006 champion of this event who was tied atop the leaderboard with Wiesberger after round one, shot an even-par 72 on Friday and he is tied for 16th with six others at 6-under 138.

Following a bogey-free, 5-under 67 on day one, which put him just one shot behind the leaders, Otto came storming out of the gate to begin his second round.

Back-to-back birdies on one and two had Otto in red numbers early and he added another gain on the par-4 fourth. After two pars at five and six, Otto rattled off three straight birdies from seven to complete a 6-under 30 on the front nine.

Otto did not slow up on the back nine either. Two more pars preceded a big eagle on the par-5 12th to get him to minus-7. Otto kept rolling with two more birdies at 13 and 15, meaning if he was able to make three birdies to close out his round, Otto would have been the first player to ever shoot a 59 on the European Tour.

A par on 16 dashed those hopes, however, and Otto's first bogey of the week on 17 was the only speed bump in an otherwise incredible round. Otto got that shot back immediately as he closed the day with a gain on 18 to get him back to 10-under for the day.

"It's always special to shoot a 62, but a 59 never even crossed my mind," said Otto. "I didn't really think about my score until my caddie said if I made par on 17 we would have been on course for a 10-under par round."

Wiesberger completed his second straight bogey-free round on Friday. He made two birdies on the back nine, his opening nine, at 12 and 16. After making the turn with four straight pars from 17, Wiesberger made back-to-back birdies on three and four, and again on seven and eight.

NOTES: Otto also finish tied for eighth at this event last year ... Cabrera- Bello's 63 on Friday was 10 shots better than his first-round 73 ... Molinari and amateur Edoardo Raffaele (70), both of whom are at 6-under, are the only two Italians in the top 20 ... With the cut falling at 2-under 142, 77 players advanced to the weekend, including seven Italians.

Related content



Sports Videos