SA's Kingston leads in Portugal
Vilamoura - South African golfer James Kingston shot an 8-under 64 to take a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Portugal Masters on Thursday.
Kingston leads five golfers, including Danish Ryder Cup player Thomas Bjorn, by one shot after making nine birdies - six of them on the back nine - and just one bogey at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course.
"It was a really nice round of golf. I played really steadily, gave myself so many chances, and it was enjoyable," the 45-year-old Kingston. "I put the ball in play most of the day, gave myself some really good approach shots into the greens and hit some really good pitch shots."
Bjorn, who already has three European Tour wins this year, carded a faultless round of 7 under.
"I played nicely early on and rolled in a few good putts," he said. "It got a bit scruffy towards the end."
Also at 7 under were Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin, Austria's Bernd Wiesberger, England's Simon Khan and Wales's Rhys Davies.
Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland shot a 67 to finish with a host of players on 5 under, including Germany's Martin Kaymer, the highest ranked player in the tournament at No. 6.
A total of 30 players were within three shots of the lead after the opening round.
Leading and selected first round scores at the Portugal Masters (GBR and IRL unless stated, par 72):64 - James Kingston (RSA)
65 - Thomas Bjorn (DEN), Gareth Maybin, Rhys Davies, Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Simon Khan
66 - Peter Hanson (SWE), Felipe Aguilar (CHI), Steve Webster, Ross Fisher, Soren Hansen (DEN), Maarten Lafeber (NED), Gregory Havret (FRA), Johan Edfors (SWE), Thongchai Jaidee (THA)
67 - Francesco Molinari (ITA), Richard Bland, Thomas Aiken (RSA)
, Joost Luiten (NED), Colin Montgomerie, Richard McEvoy, Martin Kaymer (GER), Andrew Dodt (AUS), Peter Lawrie, Pablo Larrazabal (ESP), Anthony Wall, Gary Murphy, Alexander Noren (SWE), Tano Goya (ARG), Mark Foster, Padraig Harrington
68 - Oliver Wilson, Robert Coles, Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL), David Horsey, Mark Brown (NZL), Steven O'Hara, Raphael Jacquelin (FRA), Stephen Dodd, Alastair Forsyth, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR)
69 - Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), Robert Jan Derksen (NED), Damien McGrane, Oliver Fisher, Robert Rock, Shane Lowry, Alejandro Canizares (ESP), Benjamin Hebert (FRA), Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP), Marcus Fraser (AUS), Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (FRA), Christian Nilsson (SWE), Daniel Gaunt (AUS), Phillip Price, Lee Slattery, Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG), David Drysdale, Matt Haines, Paul Lawrie, David Dixon, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP), Keith Horne (RSA)
, Jamie Donaldson, Ignacio Garrido (ESP), Lorenzo Gagli (ITA)Selected:
70 - Scott Strange (AUS), Tom Lewis, George Coetzee (RSA)
71 - Matthew Zions (AUS), Anthony Kang (USA), Jose-Maria Olazabal (ESP), Richard Green (AUS)
72 - Hennie Otto (RSA)
73 - John Daly (USA)
74 - Paul McGinley
76 - Brett Rumford (AUS)