Czech Masters: Edoardo Molinari two ahead of Thomas Pieters
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 16/08/19 6:03pm
Edoardo Molinari continued his bogey-free start to the week to open a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the D+D Real Czech Masters.
The former Ryder Cup player posted a second successive 66 at Albatross Golf Resort to get to 12 under and two ahead of nearest challenger Thomas Pieters, who finished his second-round 67 with three consecutive birdies.
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Defending champion Andrea Pavan is in the group four off the pace after a four-under 68, while Eddie Pepperell and Lee Westwood were among the notable names to miss the cut.
"I'm definitely playing differently on the course and giving myself lots of chances," Molinari said. "Even today, I could have made a few putts more. I'm playing very consistently."
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Starting the day a shot off the pace, Molinari followed on from his bogey-free opening round by picking up a shot at the par-five first and birdieing the fourth on his way to reaching the turn in 34.
Molinari rolled in a six-foot birdie at the 10th and fired his approach at the par-four 14th to tap-in range, with the Italian then converting from eight feet at 15th and added another from close range at the last to set the clubhouse target.
Playing in the group ahead of Molinari, Pieters birdied the first and 11th before making a charge up the leaderboard over the closing stretch, making a six-footer at the 16th and holing from long range at the next and finishing with a third straight birdie at the last.
Robert Karlsson shares third spot alongside Matthias Schwab, Sam Horsfield and Hugo Leon, with Scotland's Liam Johnston and England's Lee Slattery in the group on eight under.
Watch the D+D Real Czech Masters throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports Golf. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 1pm.