Matt Wallace and Marcus Fraser share midway lead at Italian Open
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 14/10/17 6:48pm
Marcus Fraser posted the lowest round of his European Tour career to grab a share of the halfway lead at the Italian Open.
Fraser fired nine birdies on his way to a bogey-free 62 in scoring-friendly conditions at Golf Club Milano, with Matt Wallace making a blemish-free 65 to join the Australian on 13 under.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Jamie Donaldson sit two strokes back in third ahead of defending champion Francesco Molinari, with Sergio Garcia and Tyrrell Hatton part of the group four off the pace.
"It's nice when it felt like it was progressing, but I haven't felt that comfortable for a long time with my game," Fraser said. "I felt like I putted well and scrambled well this week."
Beginning the round three shots off the pace, Fraser birdied the sixth and surged up the leaderboard with five consecutive gains around the turn from the eighth.
Fraser rolled in from 12 feet at the 14th and added back-to-back gains over his final two holes, as overnight joint-leader Wallace moved alongside side him after mixing four birdies with an eagle.
Aphibarnrat carded a four-under 67 to get to 11 under, which Donaldson matched after an eagle-three at the ninth - his final hole.
Last week's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship winner Hatton birdied his final three holes to post a seven-under 64 and get to nine under, as Garcia carded four gains in a flawless display.
Eddie Pepperell, Austin Connolly and Alexander Bjork also sit in the group four adrift, with top seed Jon Rahm six strokes back after signing for a three-under 68.
Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood bounced back from a slow start on Thursday to card a bogey-free 66, while Lee Westwood lies in the group on four under and Danny Willett missed the cut.
Watch the Italian Open throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 11.30am on Sky Sports Golf and 3.15pm on Sky Sports Main Event.