Rock, Wood lead way in Italy

Manaserro two off the lead

Manassero two off the paceTURIN, June 9, 2011 (AFP) - English pair Robert Rock and Chris Wood, both seeking their first European Tour titles, shared the first round lead at the Italian Open on Thursday after carding eight under par rounds of 64.

Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, Spaniard Rafael Cabrera Bello and Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark were all one shot off the pace at the Royal Park Golf and Country Club.

The 34-year-old Rock, who came nearest to breaking his victory drought when he lost a play-off to Shane Lowry at the 2009 Irish Open, enjoyed ten foot birdie putts at the seventh and ninth (his 16th and final holes).

"Nine birdies and one bogey was good. I love this course and it was good to be in a group where someone else was knocking them in and I enjoyed playing with Chris," said Rock.

"I holed quite a lot of putts today, which is something that has been testing me over the last couple of months."

Wood, 11 years Rock's junior, turned in a one under par 35 but needed just 29 shots on the front nine.

"It was good playing with Rocky and we seemed to fire off each other. It was a good round without a bogey - always nice to play that way," he said.

Wood missed out on his first Tour victory last month when Darren Clarke overhauled his four shot final round lead in Mallorca, but a back injury has been causing him problems since.

Leading and selected Italian Open scores at the Royal Park club on Thursday (GBR and IRL unless stated, par 72):

64 - Chris Wood, Robert Rock

65 - Thorbjorn Olesen (DEN), Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP), Scott Jamieson

66 - Francesco Molinari (ITA), Mikko Ilonen (FIN), Joost Luiten (NED), Matteo Manassero (ITA), Rhys Davies, Gregory Bourdy (FRA), Alexandre Kaleka (FRA)

67 - Anthony Wall, Richie Ramsay, Stephen Dodd, Thomas Bjorn (DEN), Tim Sluiter (NED), Emanuele Canonica (ITA), Pablo Larrazabal (ESP)

68 - Christian Cevaer (FRA), Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA), Peter Whiteford, David Horsey, Rafael Echenique (ARG), Jose Manuel Lara (ESP), Scott Hend (AUS), David Drysdale, Andrea Pavan (ITA), Alejandro Canizares (ESP), Lorenzo Gagli (ITA)

69 - Domenico Geminiani (ITA), Alfredo Garcia-Heredia (ESP), Florian Fritsch (GER), Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Gary Boyd, Thomas Norret (DEN), Alessandro Tadini (ITA), Niclas Fasth (SWE), Alastair Forsyth, Michael Jonzon (SWE), Andreas Harto (DEN), Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Daniel Gaunt (AUS), Stuart Manley, James Morrison, Seve Benson, Brett Rumford (AUS), Michiel Bothma (RSA), Jbe Kruger (RSA), Cesar Monasterio (ARG)


70 - Hennie Otto (RSA), George Coetzee (RSA), Jason Knutzon (USA)

71 - Wade Ormsby (AUS), Marcus Fraser (AUS), Darren Clarke

72 - Scott Strange (AUS), Peter O'Malley (AUS)

73 - Andrew Tampion (AUS), Shaun Norris (RSA), Matthew Zions (AUS), Nick Dougherty, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (IND)

74 - Shiv Kapur (IND), Rick Kulacz (AUS)

75 - Colin Montgomerie, Costantino Rocca (ITA), Paul McGinley

76 - Mark Brown (NZL)