(Reuters) – Former world number one Martin Kaymer took the Italian Open lead with a bogey-free, eight-under-par 63 in his second round at the Gardagolf Country Club on Friday.
Kaymer, who shot three-under in Thursday’s opening round, hit five birdies in a row to reach 11-under overall, a shot ahead of former Masters champion Danny Willet and local favourite Francesco Molinari.
Willet and twice-Italian Open champion Molinari tied for second with Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Ryder Cup vice-captain Graeme McDowell and Thomas Pieters.
Overnight leaders Robert Rock, Laurie Canter and Richard Sterne struggled, with Canter and Sterne shooting one-over for a share of 17th place. Rock shot one-under on the day to slip back into a share of seventh place.
Pablo Larrazabal retired from the tournament after injuring his wrist at the 14th hole.
(Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru, editing by Larry King)