Molinari, Baldwin make late moves

Top Stories

Molinari, Baldwin make late moves

I’m glad I’m playing in the morning, says Edoardo Molinari

By Alex Leach

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 31 Jan 2014, 11:27 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:06 PM

Edoardo Molinari and Matthew Baldwin made late moves on day one to finish handily placed on the leaderboard after the first 18 holes on the Majlis course here. Molinari came out of the blocks fast with five birdies over his first seven holes over the back nine prior to a costly bogey on the par-five 18th.

A subsequent eagle at the second more than made up for that though and another birdie on the seventh took him up to seven-under par and second place, two strokes shy of tournament leader Rory McIlroy.

“It was a good day,” the Italian reflected. “The greens were really firm in the afternoon. I’ve played a couple of practice rounds in the morning and it’s definitely more difficult in the afternoon. The back nine especially was quite tricky. But, I’ve been hitting the ball very well lately, particularly off the tee.

“The only blemish on the card was 18 today (Thursday). I was just between 3-wood and I actually didn’t commit to the shot, but – apart from that – I hit every fairway all day and it was going 320 yards every hole.

“Tomorrow (Friday), I’ll be able to play in the morning with softer greens and that’s going to be a big help because the greens will surely be firmer and firmer as the week goes by. I’m glad I’m playing in the morning.”

Baldwin equally got off to a blistering beginning with an eagle on his first hole – the 10th – before four birdies in five holes between the 14th and 18th.

A birdie on the second then got him to seven-under and within reach of McIlroy with seven holes left to play, only for a bogey at the sixth to see him slip back to six-under.

“I started off really nicely by hitting a 4-iron to about a foot on the 10th for eagle,” said the Englishman, who finished in a five-way tie for third position.

“It was a great momentum builder and then to follow up with some birdies late in the back nine – my front nine – was good.”

More news from