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Scottish Open 2019: Kuchar, Molinari, Bertasio and Wattel tied for lead

Matt Kuchar is one of four players tied for the lead on 8 under par

Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open first-round leaderboard
-8 R Wattel (Fra), M Kuchar (USA), N Bertasio (Ita), E Molinari (Ita); –7 A Sullivan (Eng), J Donaldson (Wal), K Samooja (Fin), T Aiken (RSA), T Slattery (Eng), E Van Rooyen (RSA), T Pieters (Bel); -6 O Wilson (Eng), H Stenson (Swe), R Langasque (Fra), C Paisely (Eng), I Poulter (Eng), R Ramsay (Sco)
Selected others: -4 P Harrington (Ire), R McIlroy (Nir), E Pepperell (Eng), J Thomas (USA), -3 R McIntyre (Sco), M Wallace (Eng); -1 R Knox (Sco); Par R Fowler (USA)
Full leaderboard

Four players are tied for the lead after a low-scoring first round of the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.

American Matt Kuchar, Italians Edoardo Molinari and Nino Bertasio, and Frenchman Romain Wattel all posted eight-under 63’s in East Lothian.

Britons Andy Sullivan, Jamie Donaldson and Lee Slattery are among those a stroke back, while Rory McIlroy posted a four-under 67.

Just three shots separate the top 28 on a congested leaderboard.

Wattel and 2010 winner Molinari both had spells as the outright leader on nine under but the Italian bogeyed his second-last hole and the Frenchman did likewise on 15.

Three places at next week’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush are up for grabs for those who finish in the top 10 and who have not yet qualified.

Molinari, whose brother Francesco is the defending champion after his victory at Carnoustie last year, is among those.

“It would obviously be special to be there when Francesco is the defending champion,” he said. “But I’m not planning on going if I don’t make it in. I’ve planned a holiday with my wife and two kids.

“If I’m not at Portrush I will be lying on the beach in Portofino, although I’ll definitely watch some golf in the evenings, over the weekend, certainly,” the 38-year-old added.

World number 13 Kuchar’s round included two eagles on the back nine at the par-five 12th and 16th, while Bertasio – ranked outside the top 500 – posted a bogey-free card.

The day’s feature group included McIlroy, 2015 winner Rickie Fowler, and 22-year-old Scot Robert MacIntyre.

The Oban player made a searing start, shooting four under for his first seven holes, before bogeys at eight, nine and 10 derailed him and he finished with a 68. Fowler finished level par.

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BBC Sport – Golf

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