European Tour

Molinari unlocks the secret for Prague lead

Edoardo Molinari (Getty Images)
Edoardo Molinari (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Edoardo Molinari credited his two-shot advantage at the Czech Masters, and the superb play which yielded a bogey-free opening 36 holes, to a secret change to his routine as the Italian took a halfway lead into the weekend for the first time in his European Tour career.

The 2010 Ryder Cup winner has three European Tour titles to his name but has struggled for consistency in recent years, and he has been searching for the path back to the top of the game.

"At the moment I'm very comfortable, I'm enjoying playing golf. I've been going through a tough few years so at the minute I'm just really enjoying myself on the golf course, I'm playing well so life is good at the minute."

Having carded a second successive 66 at Albatross Golf Resort for a 12 under total, the 38-year-old was coy about the secret to his flawless start, although the Italian has recently adopted a noticeable new pre-shot routine which involves extending his hand between his eye-line and the target.

"The reason for this form is a bit of a secret which I'm going to keep to myself for now but I'm definitely playing differently on the course, I'm giving myself lots of chances. Even today I could have made a few putts more and it's just the way it is at the minute," said Molinari.

Molinari has another former Ryder Cup player snapping at his heels as Thomas Pieters birdied the final three holes to enter the weekend in outright second place on ten under.

The Belgian, a former winner of this event in 2015 who also finished runner-up on his title defence a year later, signed for a second round 67 and a ten under total - a shot clear of former European Tour No 1 Robert Karlsson and three others in a share of third.

Scores:

132 E Molinari (Ita) 66 66, 

134 T Pieters (Bel) 67 67, 

135 H Leon (Chi) 66 69, S Horsfield (Eng) 69 66, R Karlsson (Swe) 67 68, M Schwab (Aut) 70 65, 

136 J Kruyswijk (RSA) 69 67, A Pavan (Ita) 68 68, J Hansen (Den) 66 70, L Johnston (Sco) 67 69, R Karlberg (Swe) 69 67, L Slattery (Eng) 65 71, A Arnaus (Esp) 71 65, 

137 E Van Rooyen (RSA) 65 72, V Dubuisson (Fra) 70 67, J Ritchie (RSA) 70 67, B Wiesberger (Aut) 67 70, M Nixon (Eng) 70 67, J Singh Brar (Eng) 69 68, K Reitan (Nor) 66 71, W Nienaber (RSA) 69 68, M Korhonen (Fin) 70 67, 

138 D Gavins (Eng) 71 67, Z Lombard (RSA) 68 70, T Pulkkanen (Fin) 69 69, B Henson (USA) 70 68, I Cantero Gutierrez (Esp) 71 67, J Scrivener (Aus) 67 71, K Samooja (Fin) 68 70, A Chesters (Eng) 70 68, S Kim (USA) 70 68, K Koivu (Fin) 66 72, 

139 N Colsaerts (Bel) 70 69, T Murray (Eng) 70 69, H Porteous (RSA) 69 70, J Catlin (USA) 70 69, C Hanson (Eng) 69 70, R Paratore (Ita) 71 68, R Wattel (Fra) 68 71, S Jamieson (Sco) 72 67, D Burmester (RSA) 70 69, G Green (Mas) 64 75, A Björk (Swe) 71 68, 

140 M Kawamura (Jpn) 72 68, D Howell (Eng) 69 71, D Papadatos (Aus) 71 69, M Southgate (Eng) 70 70, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 70 70, C Lloyd (Eng) 70 70, A Levy (Fra) 70 70, 

141 M Keyser (RSA) 71 70, R Ramsay (Sco) 70 71, L Robinson (Eng) 70 71, J Winther (Den) 69 72, B Easton (RSA) 68 73, S Lee (Kor) 68 73, E Kofstad (Nor) 74 67, P Dunne (Irl) 70 71, S Manley (Wal) 71 70, J Morrison (Eng) 73 68, B Evans (Eng) 72 69, P Waring (Eng) 70 71, R Gouveia (Por) 70 71, P Harrington (Irl) 73 68, O Fisher (Eng) 69 72, D Fichardt (RSA) 67 74, T Bjørn (Den) 70 71, R Macintyre (Sco) 69 72, A Rai (Eng) 72 69, J Walters (RSA) 72 69, B Dredge (Wal) 70 71,

CUT

142 H Park (Kor) 69 73, L Gagli (Ita) 70 72, C Shinkwin (Eng) 66 76, A Karlsson (Swe) 71 71, J Suri (USA) 69 73, M Schneider (Ger) 71 71, G Moynihan (Irl) 71 71, K Johannessen (Nor) 71 71, E De La Riva (Esp) 71 71, P Oriol (Esp) 72 70, S Gallacher (Sco) 70 72, J Donaldson (Wal) 70 72, 

143 L Jensen (Den) 71 72, S Kjeldsen (Den) 73 70, S Brown (Eng) 69 74, N Cullen (Aus) 72 71, N Lemke (Swe) 74 69, J Geary (Nzl) 77 66, J Veerman (USA) 72 71, P Langfors (Swe) 74 69, J Girrbach (Sui) 70 73, P Mejow (Ger) 72 71, P Angles (Esp) 69 74, M Warren (Sco) 71 72, R Evans (Eng) 69 74, J Bares (am) (Cze) 70 73, 

144 S Matus (Cze) 71 73, D Horsey (Eng) 74 70, B Rumford (Aus) 70 74, J Wang (Kor) 70 74, J Thomson (Eng) 72 72, E Pepperell (Eng) 73 71, A Korinek (Cze) 70 74, N McCarthy (Eng) 71 73, D Law (Sco) 72 72, M Pospisil (Cze) 73 71, P Mach (am) (Svk) 73 71, 

145 D Borda (Esp) 72 73, N Bertasio (Ita) 71 74, F Mruzek (Cze) 73 72, C Sahlstrom (Swe) 70 75, B Ritthammer (Ger) 72 73, L De Jager (RSA) 71 74, D Lawson (Aus) 72 73, J Cafourek (Cze) 73 72, L Westwood (Eng) 73 72, F Bergamaschi (Ita) 73 72,

146 D Stewart (Sco) 72 74, A Otaegui (Esp) 76 70, J Dantorp (Swe) 70 76, E Els (RSA) 73 73

147 M Orrin (Eng) 76 71, C Blomstrand (Swe) 72 75, M Siem (Ger) 74 73, G Coetzee (RSA) 73 74, P Valasek (Svk) 73 74, Y Chang (Kor) 72 75, A Cañizares (Esp) 72 75, 

148 D Suchan (Cze) 78 70, G Bhullar (Ind) 73 75, J Choi (Kor) 76 72, S Soderberg (Swe) 74 74, Š Zach (Cze) 74 74, P Gal (Cze) 75 73, 

149 S Brazel (Aus) 73 76, P Peterson (USA) 74 75, B Stone (RSA) 73 76, R Jacquelin (Fra) 74 75, M Schmitt (Ger) 77 72, 

150 A Saddier (Fra) 73 77, S Gregory (Eng) 74 76, L Tintera (Cze) 74 76, M Manassero (Ita) 74 76, J Todd (USA) 77 73, F Raza (am) (Cze) 77 73, 

151 G Forrest (Sco) 75 76, J Zuska (am) (Cze) 74 77, 

152 A Bland (Aus) 73 79, 

153 M Pavon (Fra) 76 77, 

154 A Leitmannstetter (Ger) 73 81, 

155 Š Páleník (Cze) 78 77, P Figueiredo (Por) 79 76, 

156 P Hruby (am) (Cze) 78 78, 

** A Connelly (Can) 78 WD, T Lewis (Eng) 76 RT,

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