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Molinari shares Italian Open lead

(Photo: Getty Images)
Francesco Molinari set up the prospect of a dream victory at the golf club he learned to play the game after a fine second round of five under par catapulted him to a share of the halfway lead at the 70° Open d'Italia LINDT.

Molinari first became a member of Circolo Golf Torino when he was an eight year old kid and he used every ounce of his extensive local knowledge to move up the leaderboard and join Chile's Felipe Aguilar and Ireland's Simon Thornton on nine under going into the weekend.

Roared on by an impressive and impassioned Italian crowd, Molinari struck the ball beautifully as he set-up the chance to claim a second Italian Open, having won the event in 2006.

"On days like today everything feels pretty easy does but there is a lot more effort going into it thsan it look," said Molinari.

"Playing here certainly adds a little bit of pressure but it also helps you focus and concentrate more too so it has good points too because I am enjoying the week so far. I said at the start of the week that I didn't want to think too much about the circumstances and just to try and enjoy it as much as I can and make some birdies.

"When I won in Tolcinasco in 2006 it was great but this is a very, very special week for me. Playing your national open where you learned the game might only happen once in your lifetime so I am trying to make the most of it.

"I was emotional yesterday on the tenth tee at 8 o'clock in the morning with about 50 people watching, so today with the huge crowds this afternoon was just an amazing feeling. It has been brilliant so far "“ I just want to try and keep going."

Aguilar and Thornton are currently best placed to ruin Molinari's homecoming party on Sunday, but the Italian will also be aware of a chasing pack that includes his 2012 Ryder Cup team mate Nicolas Colsaerts, Ireland's David Higgins and Englishman Steve Webster, all of whom are just a single stroke back on eight under.

While Molinari has the majority of the home support, there was a huge gallery following the super talented 16 year old amateur Renato Paratore, who carded a brilliant six under 66 to move into a tie for ninth place.

Paratore's friend Matteo Manassero is also by no mean out of the championship either after a two under 70 took the 20 year old to four under heading into the weekend.

Marcus Fraser continues his recent improvement to be in a share of 7th place and just two shots from the lead while Robert Allenby and Scott Hend bot made the cut on the number.

Complete Round Two Scores:

135 F Aguilar (Chi) 69 66, F Molinari (Ita) 68 67, S Thornton (Irl) 68 67,
136 D Higgins (Irl) 67 69, N Colsaerts (Bel) 65 71, S Webster (Eng) 67 69,
137 M Kieffer (Ger) 65 72, M Fraser (Aus) 66 71,
138 S Benson (Eng) 68 70, R Gonzalez (Arg) 65 73, A Cañizares (Esp) 71 67, H Otto (RSA) 71 67, J Quesne (Fra) 70 68, A Quiros (Esp) 71 67, R Paratore (am) (Ita) 72 66,
139 J Olazábal (Esp) 71 68, J Edfors (Swe) 69 70, E Kofstad (Nor) 70 69, J Kingston (RSA) 68 71, J Lagergren (Swe) 72 67, M Nixon (Eng) 70 69, J Van Zyl (RSA) 70 69, M Baldwin (Eng) 71 68, M Foster (Eng) 74 65,
140 M Manassero (Ita) 70 70, D McGrane (Irl) 71 69, M Tullo (Chi) 70 70, F Andersson Hed (Swe) 73 67, R Derksen (Ned) 71 69, M Korhonen (Fin) 70 70, T Aiken (RSA) 69 71,

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