Simon Khan (Getty Images)
Simon Khan turned in a three under par 33 to take the lead during the second round at the Portugal Masters.
With overnight leader James Kingston amongst the afternoon starters and plenty of birdies on offer at Oceânico Victoria Golf Course, the morning starters had an opportunity to set a testing clubhouse target.
And 2010 BMW PGA Championship winner Khan raced out of the blocks with three birdies in his first four holes.
He responded to a bogey at the seventh with a birdie at the par three next and at ten under par led by one from Welshman Rhys Davies.
Davies was two under through seven courtesy of birdies at the 14th and 16th, while Kingston had been joined on eight under by World Number Six Martin Kaymer and Dane Søren Hansen.
Former US PGA Champion Kaymer has an opportunity to make gains in The Race to Dubai this week – he is currently fifth but the four players above him are taking a week off, allowing the German to increase his potential share of the $7,500,000 bonus pool.
Hansen was a member of Sir Nick Faldo’s Ryder Cup side in 2008, but a recent slump in form has left the 37 year old 112th on The Race to Dubai and in danger of losing his card.
But a first round 66 was followed by three birdies and a bogey in his first eight holes and a good performance this week will secure Hansen’s playing rights for 2012.