Rory McIlroy in front, Matt Fitzpatrick a shot back in Italian Open at Marco Simone, site of 2023 Ryder Cup

It’s safe to say Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick are enjoying Marco Simone, site of the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome, Italy.

McIlroy sits at 9 under while Fitzpatrick is at 8 under following their second rounds during the DS Automobiles Italian Open. McIlroy leads after a birdie on the closing par-5 18th to shoot 5-under 66. Fitzpatrick, who led after the opening round, shot a 2-under 69 and is in solo second.

The second round was suspended because of darkness, with McIlroy’s group finishing right as play was called for the day. It will resume at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET), and the third round will begin no earlier than 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET).

2022 Italian Open
2022 Italian Open

Rory McIlroy hits his second shot on the 18th hole of the 2022 DS Automobiles Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy. (Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Last week in the BMW PGA Championship, McIlroy finished tied for second with Jon Rahm, one shot behind winner Shane Lowry. He’s also playing in two weeks in the Alfred Dunhill Links, which is contested at the Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald had a strong day, recording eight birdies, but a triple on the par-4 16th help him to a round of 3-under 68. He sits at 5 under for the tournament, tied for fifth in a group including Tyrrell Hatton, among others.

After an even-par opening round, Viktor Hovland shot 3-under 68 and is tied for 21st. Also T-21 is Alex Fitzpatrick, Matt’s younger brother.

The cut is expected to be 1 over, though it could change Saturday morning.


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Story originally appeared on GolfWeek