VILAMOURA, Portugal (AP) — James Kingston shot an 8-under 64 to take a one-shot lead over five players after the opening round of the Portugal Masters on Thursday.
The South African made nine birdies – six 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,” Kingston said. “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.”
Danish Ryder Cup player Thomas Bjorn, Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, England’s Simon Khan and Wales’ Rhys Davies were at 7 under.
“I played nicely early on and rolled in a few good putts,” Bjorn said. “It got a bit scruffy towards the end.”
Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington of Ireland shot a 67 and was among a large group of players at 5 under that included 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.