Rock, Canter and Sterne share Italian Open lead

The likes of Rafa Cabrera Bello and Ross Fisher are lurking, but the Italian Open is led by Robert Rock, Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne.

Robert Rock in action   -  Getty Images

Low scoring was the order of the day at the Italian Open, where Robert Rock, Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne led the way after round one.

A soft course at the Gardagolf Country Club, due to heavy rain in the build-up, helped to encourage low numbers with Rock and Canter among the early starters to take advantage.

The duo finished at eight under par for the round, marking Canter's lowest European Tour score, while Sterne – after a lengthy delay due to storms – was able to match them with a 63 of his own later in the day.

Rock, who won his first European Tour title at the same event seven years ago, made bogey at the second but rebounded with three birdies and an eagle on the front nine, while a further four gains followed on the way home.

Canter's card was blemish free and also included an eagle at the par-five seventh, while Sterne – who started his round at the 10th – finished with three straight birdies to join the leaders.

"You remember your first win more than anything and for me, it took so long to get the first win, so it's special," Rock told the European Tour's official website.

"But you also see the same people when you come back to a tournament and your name's on the trophy and the boards. As I've only won two, I don't get to experience that very much. It's always good to see

Rafa Cabrera Bello, Danny Willett, Ross Fisher and Thomas Pieters are among a cluster of eight players who are two shots off the pace, while Lee Westwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Graeme McDowell and Francesco Molinari – the winner of last week's BMW PGA Championship – are among12 players three off the pace.

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