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Nic Colsaerts rides string of birdies to Italian Open lead

Sept. 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM
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TURIN, Italy, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Nicolas Colsaerts, with a string of six consecutive birdies, grabbed a share of the lead after first-round play of the European Tour's Italian Open.

The hot run over holes 11-16 allowed Colsaerts to finish the day at 7-under-par 65. Ricardo Gonzalez and Maximilian Kieffer also shot 65 and are tied with Colsaerts for the lead.

Marcus Fraser, with a bogey-free 66, is alone in fourth place while David Higgins and Steve Webster, who each had six birdies and a bogey Thursday, are tied for fifth at 5-under 67.

Colsaerts opened his tournament on the second nine of the Golf Club Torino with a bogey before running off six straight birdies. He added another birdie at the 18th and then had eight straight pars before closing with a birdie at the ninth for a 65.

Kieffer had four birdies on each side, offset with a bogey at the 427-yard, par 4 11th.

Gonzalez began his day birdie-bogey but made the turn at 2-under. He jumped up the leaderboard with an eagle at the 531-yard, par 5 12th and had three birdies over Nos. 14-17.

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