Fitzpatrick on fire in Rome as Molinari misses cut
Matt Fitzpatrick produced a superb second round to lead the Italian Open at the halfway point, but home hope Francesco Molinari will not play the weekend.
Fitzpatrick made seven birdies and just one bogey as he carded a six-under 65 in Rome to take a one-shot lead into the weekend.
"Just a really, really solid day," Fitzpatrick said of his performance. "I figured out something with my irons after the second hole. I just felt much more comfortable with my irons once I was out there. That certainly showed. I only missed one green after that.
"When you're in these kind of positions, it's always exciting. That's why you play the game, and look forward to the weekend."
Fitzpatrick has not won since his triumph at the European Masters last year. On that occasion he defeated Lucas Bjerregaard in a play-off and he has another Dane for company at the top of the leaderboard.
Joachim B. Hansen's 66 pushed him to nine under par through 36 holes, while Graeme McDowell, Rory Sabbatini and world number five Justin Rose are in a group of five players three shots off the pace.
Molinari, however, endured a nightmare second day.
The 2018 Open champion went through the first 18 in par, a score that would have seen him into round three had he replicated it.
He made the turn in level par but a dreadful back nine put paid to his hopes of making the cut. Molinari registered back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12, and the strong finish he needed did not materialise as he doubled the par-five 17th before ending his tournament with another dropped shot.