Sjoholm shoots to the front

  • Last Updated: September 13 2012, 19:33 BST

Eight birdies put Sweden's Joel Sjoholm one stroke clear with a round of 64 after the opening day of the BMW Italian Open presented by CartaSi.

Sjoholm: Leads the way after a 64

The 27-year-old had eight birdies in his flawless round at Royal Park I Roveri as defending champion Robert Rock could only shoot two under.

Italian Francesco Molinari was the best placed of the Ryder Cup-bound trio in the field as he shot four under, with Germany's Martin Kaymer carding two under and Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts firing a one under 71.

Sjoholm, who was born in Chile but adopted as a baby and took up the game at the age of three, did not drop a shot as he finished one ahead of England's Lee Slattery who moved to seven under in one of the final rounds to be completed.

Two of Slattery's seven birdies came on the final two holes to put him one stroke ahead of a group of seven.

A late charge by David Howell had seen him join Richard McEvoy and Richard Bland, South Africans Keith Horne and Garth Mulroy, France's Victor Dubuisson and Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin on six under.

Despite his score, Sjoholm felt he had not necessarily produced his best golf.

"It's more fun now I've finished," he said.

"I hit it basically everywhere. I was in the woods a lot and made some funny birdies today.

"It was a big, fighting 64 rather than a solid 64, but it's great fun to be eight under.

"I want revenge because the last two weeks I actually played quite good golf. Normally when I score well, I have to putt well.

"The last few weeks I've putted quite poorly and missed the cut by one stroke. Both times I felt like I had a good chance to make the cut, but you have to forget and keep moving on."

Molinari's brother Edoardo made his return after three months out following wrist surgery and scored two under with fives birdies and three bogeys in his native Turin.

He said: "The wrist is feeling good. I'm very happy with it. There is absolutely no pain at all.

"It's an okay start. I was very rusty. I hit the ball quite poorly to be honest, but it's more than two months since I last played in competition. It's going to be a long way back to the top but I'll get there."

Collated first-round scores (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

64 Joel Sjoholm (Swe)

65 Lee Slattery

66 Richard Bland, Garth Mulroy (Rsa), David Howell, Gareth Maybin, Keith Horne (Rsa), Richard McEvoy, Victor Dubuisson (Fra)

67 Shiv Kapur (Ind), Edouard Dubois (Fra), Johan Edfors (Swe), Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Alex Cejka (Ger), Michael Jonzon (Swe), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa), Sam Little, Richard Sterne (Rsa), Bradley Dredge

68 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Phillip Price, Julien Quesne (Fra), Scott Jamieson, Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Stephen Dodd, Marc Warren, Richard Finch, Tim Sluiter (Ned), Alastair Forsyth, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa)

69 Peter Whiteford, Mikko Ilonen (Fin), Matteo Manassero (Ita), Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Graeme Storm, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Tjaart Van Der Walt (Rsa), David Drysdale, Gary Boyd, Romain Wattel (Fra), Andrew Parr (Can), Tommy Fleetwood, Giorgio De filippi (Ita), Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Lorenzo Gagli (Ita)

70 Mikael Lundberg (Swe), Anders Hansen (Den), Robert Coles, Joakim Lagergren (Swe), Peter Lawrie, Robert Karlsson (Swe), Thomas Norret (Den), Joon Kim (Ita), Niclas Fasth (Swe), Shane Lowry, Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Gregory Havret (Fra), Craig Lee, Oscar Floren (Swe), Alessandro Grammatica (Ita), Dylan Frittelli (Rsa), Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Jorge Campillo (Spa), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa), Robert Rock, Daniel Denison, Markus Brier (Aut), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Edoardo Molinari (Ita), Hennie Otto (Rsa), David McKenzie (Aus), Sam Walker, Andrea Pavan (Ita), Andrew Marshall, Ignacio Garrido (Spa), Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe)

71 Andrew Johnston, Gary Orr, Mathias Gronberg (Swe), Tom Lewis, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa), Jose Manuel Lara (Spa), Anthony Wall, Gregory Molteni (Ita), Shaun Micheel (USA), Michael Hoey, George Murray, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra), Jamie Moul, Estanislao Goya (Arg), Paul Waring, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), David Horsey, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind), Jin Jeong (Kor), Thorbjorn Olesen (Den)

72 Carlos Del Moral (Spa), Alex Haindl (Rsa), Steve Webster, Patrik Sjoland (Swe), Kristoffer Broberg (Swe), Scott Strange (Aus), Matthew Baldwin, James Morrison, Jamie Elson, David Dixon, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Rich Beem (USA), Christiano Terragni (Ita), Mark Foster, Simon Thornton

73 Damien McGrane, James Kingston (Rsa), Giulio Castagnara (Ita), Stefano Soffietti (Ita), Joost Luiten (Ned), Filippo Bergamaschi (Ita), Todd Hamilton (USA), Peter Hedblom (Swe), Renato Paratore (Ita), Felipe Aguilar (Chi), Federico Colombo (Ita), Lorenzo Magini (Ita), Pablo Martin (Spa), Rhys Davies, Sam Hutsby, Knut Borsheim (Nor), Thomas Levet (Fra)

74 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned), Richard S Johnson (Swe), Marco Bernardini (Ita), Andrea Rota (Ita), Matthew Zions (Aus), Emanuele Canonica (Ita)

75 Andrea Maestroni (Ita), Oliver Wilson, Steven Jeppesen (Swe), Ricardo Santos (Por), Maarten Lafeber (Ned), Benjamin Hebert (Fra)

76 Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan, Christian Nilsson (Swe), Alexander Noren (Swe), Domenico Geminiani (Ita), Andrew Dodt (Aus), Kenneth Ferrie

77 Costantino Rocca (Ita)

78 Benedetto Pastore (Ita), Lorenzo Scotto (Ita), Mattia Miloro (Ita)

80 Francesco Laporta (Ita)

RTD: Colin Montgomerie (Sco)