Molinari still in the hunt
Francesco Molinari remained in contention for a dream Italian Open victory on his home course, but Nicolas Colsaerts was also in the hunt.
Molinari, who became a member of the Circolo Golf Torino club when he was just eight years old, reached the midway point of the third round one shot off the lead shared by four players.
The 30-year-old began the day tied for the lead and got off to the ideal start with a birdie on the par-five first after chipping to two feet, but a run of seven pars was then followed by a bogey on the ninth.
That dropped the three-time European Tour winner back to nine under, one behind leaders Colsaerts, Simon Thornton, Marcus Fraser and Felipe Aguilar.
Colsaerts, who shared the lead after an opening 65 but could only manage a 71 on Friday, had been two off the pace before holing from eight feet on the par-three eighth and 20ft on the par-five ninth, where Molinari's dropped shot came after he duffed his pitch into a greenside bunker.
Ireland's Thornton, who won in St Omer earlier this season, had earlier held the outright lead thanks to birdies on the first and third before a bogey on the eighth when he failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
Colsaerts, who pulled out of last week's KLM Open after one round with the flu, missed good birdie chances on the 10th and 13th but finally picked up another shot on the 14th.
That took the world number 54 to 11 under and into a share of the lead with Fraser, the Australian having birdied the par-five 12th.
Molinari remained nine under and two shots off the lead, only one better off than amateur compatriot Renato Paratore, the 16-year-old picking up shots on the 11th, 12th and 15th to continue an impressive performance.
Molinari got back within a shot of the lead with a birdie from six feet on the 14th, much to the delight of the large crowds following his group, and was agonisingly close to another on the 15th.
At 10 under he was one off the clubhouse target set by Fraser, who had parred his last six holes to complete a 68, with Colsaerts also 11 under with one hole to play.