Fitzpatrick had four birdies and one dropped shot on the front nine, but birdied three of his last five holes to move to the top of the leaderboard. He has two runner-up finishes in the BMW International Open and Scandinavian Invitation. "I figured out something with my irons after the second hole".
"Fitzpatrick is sixth in the Race to Dubai rankings and is looking to regain his spot in Europe's Ryder Cup team after missing out on the competition past year".
The 2018 Open Championship victor, Molinari has twice triumphed in Italy, but he struggled to make inroads on Thursday with a round that contained two birdies and two bogeys. "I've got my coach here this week, which is really nice, and my father, as well".
Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Rory Sabbatini, Andrew Johnston and India's Shubhankar Sharma sit in equal third on 7 under.
The 29-year-old Finn went bogey-free, making four consecutive birdies from the 14th, and said: "I think the first year [on the tour] was a learning year".
"I had a poor finish, but there was some good stuff as well", said Rose, who made a double bogey at the eighth hole, his 17th, in a 2-under 69. "It was a little dark on the range and I didn't hit it well but it was a super score, so I'm really happy". "I did hit a couple more quality golf shots which is nice". He's looking for his first European Tour win since the 2014 French Open. He's playing a golf course that might help him to achieve his 11th European Tour victory. "I had a tough run from the second to the sixth, didn't play very well at all and rode the storm a little bit before resetting my goals".
Home favourite Francesco Molinari, the 2018 Open champion, carded a five over par round of 76 to miss the cut by five shots, while Shane Lowry, the player who succeeded him as Champion Golfer of the Year, also failed to make it through to the weekend after a level par round of 70 left him one stoke short.