Torrance plays on

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Sam Torrance, on the verge of from withdrawing from the tournament, took a gamble with his fitness to shoot a three-under par 69 in the first round of the Italian Open in Milan.

The Scot woke up yesterday with a strained tendon at the top of his left leg.

"I might have done it in practice," he said, "or maybe it was the long walk back from the restaurant last night. All I know is that it hurt when I got up this morning.

"I went for treatment, had a few shots on the practice ground, and it was only seconds before I was due off that I decided to play. But I'm glad now I made the effort," he said. "I played well and if it's not sore in the morning I should be okay. I'm going for more treatment tonight and hoping for the best."

Torrance is four shots behind Neal Briggs, from Wilmslow, whose seven- under par 65 included six birdies and an eagle three at the 479-yard final hole. Jose Rivero, of Spain, and the Italian Michele Reale are second on 66, with Rivero winning a £25,000 car for holing in one at the 17th with a seven iron.

ITALIAN OPEN (Milan) Leading first round scores (GB unless stated): 65 N Briggs; 66 J Rivero (Sp), M Reale (It); 67 R Rafferty, M Mackenzie, M Durante (It); 68 R Willison, S Dodd, E Canonica (It), S Cage, S McAllister, C Rocca (It), A Coltart, J Sandelin (Swe), A Oldcorn, M Litton; 69 M Roberts, V Fernandez (Arg), S Tinning (Den), C Cevaer (Fr), G Emerson, S Torrance, P Broadhurst, J Robson, G Orr, J M Carriles (Sp); 70 J M Arruti (Sp), M James, C Mason,T Johnstone (Zim), G Levenson (SA), T Price (Aus), P Quirici (Swit), C Suneson, R Boxall, M Pinero (Sp), W Riley (Aus), G Hjertstedt (Swe), R Goosen (SA), J McHenry (Irl), M Besaney (Fr), M Farry (Fr), I Spencer, R Campagnoli (It).