Former Open D’Italia champion Hennie Otto teed up at Circolo Golf Torino on Thursday for this year’s edition of the Italian national open. He got the ball rolling with a first-round 67 that secured his share of third.
“This type of golf course suits my eye and it’s always nice to see yourself on the leaderboard. I’m happy with that kind of start,” he said.
The two-time European Tour winner recently had two laser operations on his back and still managed to finish 39th at the Czech Masters a week ago. His Thursday 67 in Italy was impressive and set him one stroke shy of leaders Francesco Molinari and Bendt Wiesberger.
“I’ve been off for nine weeks with injuries, so making the cut last week was a bit of a surprise,” said Otto. “I’m hitting good shots and I’m pain free, which is nice.”
Otto’s three-ball included Darren Fichardt, who was also in contention after he shot 68 for the first round.
“It’s good to play with South Africans,” said Otto. “Darren and I have played together for a long time and played amateur golf together. He played well today and it’s nice that both of us could be up there.”