Gallacher, Fisher lead the way
Friday, 12 October 2012
Scotland's Stephen Gallacher has posted a bogey-free opening round to share the Portugal Masters lead at six under with Ross Fisher as Australians Matthew Zions and Richard Green find themselves five strokes off the pace.
Gallacher and Fisher both shot 65s in the opening round at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura, Portugal, to hold a one-shot lead over George Murray of Scotland.
Both Gallacher and Fisher started on the back nine on Thursday, with the former scoring birdies on the 11th, 15th, 17th, second, fifth and eighth holes to sit atop the leaderboard.
Fisher had three birdies and a bogey on the back nine before a brilliant performance on the front nine gave him a share of the overnight lead with Gallacher.
The 31-year-old Englishman started his second half of the round with three consecutive birdies before another on the fifth hole to reach six under for the day.
Murray could have made it a three-way tie at six under after four consecutive birdies to start the back nine but the 29-year-old Scot bogeyed the 16th to finish the day in third place on five under.
A group of five players finished the first round a further shot back, with Ireland's Shane Lowry overcoming a double-bogey on the 14th hole with consecutive birdies on the 16th and 17th to card a four-under 67.
Lowry is joined in a tie for fourth by Swedish pair Fredrik Andersson Hed and Christian Nilsson, as well as Jbe Kruger of South Africa and Wales' Jamie Donaldson.
Another seven players, including last year's runner-up Rafa Cabrera-Bello of Spain, are tied for ninth at three under.
Reigning champion Tom Lewis of England is a further shot back alongside 16 other players.
Australia's Zions and Green both posted one-under 70s on the opening day of the tournament, while Andrew Dodt managed a 72.