Portugal Masters: Oliver Fisher two off leader Louis de Jager
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 24/10/19 7:27pm
Oliver Fisher continued his impressive record at the Portgual Masters to get within two strokes of the early lead in Vilamoura.
Fisher, who carded the first sub-60 round in European Tour history in last year's contest, posted an opening-round 65 to stay in touch with early pacesetter Louis de Jager.
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The Englishman mixed seven birdies with a sole bogey on the par-71 layout at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course to sit in a share of second with Justin Walters and Jake McLeod, as De Jager opened up a two-stroke advantage after a bogey-free 63.
"The way I hit the ball and putted, the way I'm reading and seeing the lines, I'm really excited for the rest of the week," De Jager said. "It's only the first day but I'm feeling confident."
Starting the week 112th on the Race to Dubai, Fisher moved up the leaderboard with three consecutive birdies from the 12th and cancelled out a bogey at the par-three 16th by picking up a shot at the 18th to reach the turn in 33.
Fisher rolled in from eight feet at the third and converted a 10-footer at the sixth before signing off his round by knocking his approach at the ninth to eight feet to set up a closing birdie.
Walters and McLeod both made blemish-free starts to the week to get to six under alongside Fisher, while De Jager - 123rd on the Race to Dubai - got off to a fast start with five birdies in his first seven holes.
The South African moved ahead by picking up a shot at the second and adding a two-putt birdie at the fifth, before doubling his lead with a 25-foot birdie at the par-three sixth.
David Horsey and Matthew Southgate after in the group of seven players on five under and in tied-fifth with top see Matt Wallace, Eddie Pepperell and Ryder Cup-winning captain Thomas Bjorn all three off the pace.
Watch the Portugal Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 11.30am on Sky Sports Golf.