Liam Johnston & # 39; s spotless 10-under opening score is his lowest European round -10 L Johnston (Sco); -9 J Guerrier (Fra); -7 L Canter (Eng); -6 J Caldwell (NI); -5 G Coetzee (SA), M Jordan (Eng), S Soderberg (Swe), T Olesen (Nor); Selected others: -3 T Fleetwood (Eng); -2 J Donaldson (Wal); +5 S Gallacher (Sco)
Liam Johnston from Scotland & # 39; had no idea & # 39; that he was competing for a 59 at the Portugal Masters before taking a 10-under-par 61 to lead on day one.
The 27-year 10-birdie score – his lowest on the European Tour – has him a shot away from France's Julien Guerrier.
Johnston needed a 3-3 finish to become only the second player on the main circuit to break 60, but his eagle putt on the par-5 was just 17 short.
"I don't see such a round coming, but I played well," he said.
"I said to my home coach I was swinging it as good as I do. More importantly, I'm in a really good place mentally."
Johnston has never won on the European Tour and does not currently have full playing rights, having lost his card last year in his debut season.
On the chance to rival Oliver Fisher on the same Villamoura course where the Englishman posted two years ago, Johnston said, “I had no idea. I thought it was a par 72 , but I was clearly trying to put the putt on 17 for eagle. "
England's Laurie Canter is two strokes slower than the tempo in third place after a 64, with Jonathan Caldwell out Northern Ireland one more shot back.