Chawrasia makes decent start in Italy

SSP Chawrasia may well have finished way better but for two bogeys late in his round. He is the lone Indian in the field this week.

SSP Chawrasia is looking for a couple of good finishes to get into the Top-60 for the Race to Dubai finals.   -  Getty Images

SSP Chawrasia made a decent start with a one-under 71 that placed him tied 44th in the incomplete first round of the weather-affected Italian Open.

He may well have finished way better but for two bogeys late in his round. He is the lone Indian in the field this week.

Chawrasia, who is looking for a couple of good finishes to get into the Top-60 for the Race to Dubai finals, had three birdies against no bogeys till the 12th hole and then dropped shots on fourth and fifth holes, which were his 13th and 14th, as he started from the 10th.

He finished with four pars for his 71.

Defending champion Rikard Karlberg finished with an eagle to open up a one-shot lead over home favourite Francesco Molinari at the end of the first day. The Swede had just parred his first hole when play was stopped for the second time of the day due to torrential rain and the threat of lightning at 10.55am, with four hours and 55 minutes lost overall.

When play resumed at 1.30 pm, the sun came out and with very little wind and soft greens, scoring conditions were close to ideal as Karlberg posted a seven under par 64 to lead by one shot from Molinari, the 2006 Italian Open champion.

Karlberg’s win at Golf Club Milano last season was his first on the European Tour and he has achieved four top tens since then - including an impressive runner-up finish at the BMW PGA Championship.

Among those yet to complete their first round were the likes of Danny Willett, Matt Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan, who will hope to fine tune their preparations for The Ryder Cup.

Rikard Karlberg said,”That was as good as it gets. It was a great round. I felt at a few tournaments there have been too many bogeys, and I haven’t been able to save par to get the round going. But today I did that very well, and in the end I shot seven under. So I’m very happy with that.”