Mats Lanner Sets Course Record
TURIN, Italy (AP) _ Mats Lanner, winner of one European PGA Tour event in the past four years, fired a course record 10-under-par 62 Thursday to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the Fiat and Fila Italian Open.
Jose Maria Olazabal, winner of this month’s Masters, and Lee Janzen, the defending U.S. Open champ, were unable to tame the 6,947-yard CircoloGolf course and were far back in the pack.
In 17 years as a pro, Lanner has won three European PGA events and has had just three top-10 finishes in 43 tournaments over the past three years.
But the tall Swede was nearly perfect Thursday, getting to 4-under after just three holes thanks to an eagle and a pair of birdies. He added birdies at 6, 7, 9, 12, 13 and 14 to match his career low round.
Lanner broke the course record of 65, set in 1965 by Alfonso Angelini during the Turin Open.
Another Swede, Per Nyman, was at 7-under, to share second place with England’s Gary Evans. Defending champion Patrik Sjoland was in a group of four players at 5-under.
Olazabal, who missed the cut last week at the Spanish Open, carded a 71. Janzen opened with an eagle on the first hole but was undone with back-to-back bogeys at 10 and 11, and wound up shooting a par 72.
Two other multiple major winners in the field also had mediocre days. Bernhard Langer, twice a victor in Italy, and former Ryder Cup captain Seve Ballesteros, who’s been battling knee problems, were both nine strokes off the lead.
Light rain briefly hit the course, just outside the industrial city of Turin, in the afternoon, but play was not halted. Last year’s tournament was cut to 54 holes because of downpours.