Published: Oct 06, 2011 2:48 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 07, 2011 6:30 AM EDT

MADRID (AP) - Italy's Edoardo Molinari shot a 6-under 66 to take an early clubhouse lead in the Madrid Masters on Thursday.

Molinari, a former golf World Cup winner alongside brother Francesco, accelerated on the inward nine with an eagle and three birdies from four holes after the turn.

The Italian said he enjoyed a "good, solid round" after "not playing very well on the front nine."

Defending champion and No. 1-ranked Luke Donald ended the opening round at 4 under, while local players Alvaro Quiros and Eduardo de la Riva were among six players stacked at 5 under.

Among the players in action later were two-time major winner John Daly and Swedish Ryder Cup player Henrik Stenson.