U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick topped the leaderboard whereas Rory McIlroy impressed within the first spherical of the Italian Open on the Marco Simone membership, which is able to host subsequent yr’s Ryder Cup.
4-time main champion McIlroy holed out an strategy shot for an eagle en path to a 4-under 67.
After producing just one birdie on his opening 9 holes — having beginning his spherical on the again 9 — McIlroy shot up the leaderboard when he landed his second shot from 115 yards on the par-4 third a number of ft from the opening. The ball then rolled in and McIlroy lifted his arms in delight as he watched from afar again up the green.
Fitzpatrick was one stroke forward at 5-under by means of 15 holes when play was suspended due to darkness.
Defending champion Nicolai Hojgaard, who performed in a bunch with McIlroy and two-time Italian Open champion Francesco Molinari, completed one stroke behind the leaders.
McIlroy went 5-under over his remaining seven holes.
The beginning of play was delayed for an hour due to lightning and situations remained blustery all through the day.
On the par-5 626-yard 18th, McIlroy drove his tee shot into excessive grass and needed to chip out into the green earlier than ultimately sinking a 20-foot putt to avoid wasting par.
McIlroy has completed first and second respectively in his earlier two tournaments, the Tour Championship in Atlanta and the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, England, final week.
From Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2023, Marco Simone will turn out to be the third venue in continental Europe to host the Ryder Cup after Valderrama in Spain (1997) and Le Golf Nationwide in France (2018).
Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald and vice captains Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari predict suggestions from McIlroy and others on find out how to arrange the course to Europe’s benefit.