Sjoholm (64) leads Italian Open by one shot

Joel Sjoholm during the first round of the Italian Open.

FIANO, Italy — Joel Sjoholm of Sweden shot an 8-under 64 Thursday to take a one stroke lead after the first round of the Italian Open.

He picked up three shots in his last four holes.

“I hit it basically everywhere,” Sjoholm said. “I was in the woods a lot and made some funny birdies today. It was a big, fighting 64 rather than a solid 64. But it’s great fun to be 8 under.”

Lee Slattery of England was at 65 and seven players were two shots back: Englishmen Richard McEvoy, Richard Bland and David Howell, South Africans Garth Mulroy and Keith Horne, Victor Dubuisson of France and Gareth Maybin of Northern Ireland.

Italy’s Francesco Molinari, the 2006 winner, led a Ryder Cup-bound trio at 4 under. Martin Kaymer is at 2 under and captain’s pick Nicolas Colsaerts is another stroke back. Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal shot a 70.

The 27-year-old Sjoholm’s best result came in Italy, finishing third in last year’s Sicilian Open. He missed the cuts by a single stroke in Switzerland and the Netherlands in the past two weeks.

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