Tapio Pulkkanen (Finland) carded his lowest European Tour round to take the lead after the opening day of the 2019 Italian Open – the 5th Rolex Series event of the season. Pulkkanen carded seven birdies on his way to first round 64. One shot behind the leader at six under par is the South African Rory Sabbatini, who plays mainly on the PGA Tour.
First round leaderboard:
Tapio Pulkkanen, ranked 353rd in the world is still looking for his maiden European Tour title. If Pulkkanen lift the trophy on Sunday he will move inside the top 100 from Monday. With a win this week Pulkkanen will climb to 16th at Race to Dubai where he is currently ranked 102nd.
World number 5 Justin Rose arrived in Rome as the big favorite for the win this week. Rose posted opening round 66 after very strong performance on the back nine. The former world number one is at the group at five under par and shares third place.
Home favorite Francesko Molinari played the course on par today and shares 54th place.