Justin Pieters fired a seven under par round of 65 on Tuesday to carve out a two stoke lead at First Qualifying Stage Section C Ribagolfe, Portugal.
The Belgian has been under the guidance of compatriot Nicolas Colsaerts, and he put that experience to good use in making nine birdies on Tuesday. He also dropped a couple of shots in his first 18 holes, but that did not take the shine off an otherwise sublime performance in Lisbon.
Pieters is now handily placed to be one of those in 24th place and ties who will progress to the second stage.
Two strokes back are American Daniel Berger who carded six birdies and two bogeys in his first eight holes en route to a five under par opening score, and Chile’s Martin Ureta.
Three Spaniards – Vicente Blasquez, Eduardo Larrañaga and Diego Suazo – are all at four under par and in a tie for fourth, and they are alongside Canada’s Jordan Krantz.