- South Africa's James Kingston leads after first round of Portugal Masters
- Kingston shoots an eight-under 64 at Vilamoura
- Thomas Bjorn of Denmark in five-strong chasing group one shot behind
- Colin Montgomerie and Martin Kaymer card five-under 67s
South African veteran James Kingston carded an eight-under 64 to lead after the first day of the Portugal Masters Thursday with a clutch of big name stars taking close order.
The 45-year-old produced a stunning run of seven birdies in eight holes to open up a one-shot lead over a group of five players on a day when 96 players finished under par.
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Simon Khan of England, Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin, Welshman Rhys Davies and Bernd Wiesberger of Austria all shot 65 at Vilamoura.
In-form Bjorn is bidding for his fourth European Tour win of the season and is seventh in the Race to Dubai.
Kingston has missed the last two cuts despite feeling he was playing well.
"I just couldn't put the scores on the board and this week we have. Hopefully it changes from here on in," he told the European Tour official website.
Former world number one Martin Kaymer had predicted before the tournament that there would be low scoring and he was good to his word with a five-under 67 to be tied for 16th.
He was joined on that mark by former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington of Ireland.
Defending champion Richard Green of Australia carded a one-under-par 71, but John Daly of the United States was one over after his opening round.
Meanwhile on the PGA Tour, Webb Simpson was the clubhouse leader after shooting a seven-under-par 63 in the first round of the
McGladrey Classic at Sea Island
Simpson only needs to tie for 15th or better to take over from England's current world number one Luke Donald, who is not playing this weekend.