Donaldson and Lynn bounce back

10/10/2013 2:10:00 PM
Jamie Donaldson  (Getty Images)
Jamie Donaldson (Getty Images)
Seve Trophy by Golf+ team-mates Jamie Donaldson and David Lynn swiftly overcame the disappointment of being part of Great Britain & Ireland’s losing side last week as they grabbed a share of the clubhouse lead at the Portugal Masters.

Welshman Donaldson and Englishman Lynn were part of Sam Torrance’s side which was beaten 15-13 by Continental Europe, but carded opening rounds of 66 to join Ireland's Simon Thornton and Spaniard Alvaro Quiros, a former winner here, on six under.

Donaldson reached seven under before three-putting the eighth, his penultimate hole, for his only bogey of the day, while Lynn picked up three shots in his last five holes.

A relaxed approach to the pressure of trying to keep his card paid off for Scotland's Chris Doak in Vilamoura.

Doak is 112th on The Race to Dubai with only the top 110 after next week's Perth International keeping their full playing privileges for 2014.

The 35 year old has not managed a top-ten finish all season but carded a flawless opening 67, four under par, at Oceânico Victoria Golf Club to lie two shots off the clubhouse lead.

"It's a great start," Doak said. "I said to myself if I can shoot three under each day I'll be round about there, so it's a good start.

"It's the total opposite this week to the rest of the season. I'm just trying to relax a bit more. I felt over the season I have been trying too hard when I have been up there. I came here on Sunday and had a few days to get used to the course and conditions.

"If anybody says they don't know what number they are (on The Race to Dubai) they might be lying. You've got to know. For me I like to know what I have to do, but it's a different attitude this week which has been working so far."

Robert Coles is also struggling to keep his card and matched Doak's 67, but the Englishman will have had mixed emotions after leading by three shots after playing his first 12 holes in seven under par.

Coles, currently 164th on The Race to Dubai, then bogeyed the 13th and found water off the tee on the next to run up a double-bogey six before closing with four pars.

The 41 year old has managed just one top-20 finish all season - in the first event in South Africa which was reduced to 36 holes due to bad weather - and is still looking for his first European Tour victory in more than 360 events.

Another player battling to retain his status is Denmark’s former Ryder Cup star Søren Hansen, who aided his cause with a five under par 67.

Defending champion Shane Lowry, third in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the end of September, had to settle for a one under par 70.

As the afternoon session developed, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger posed the biggest threat to the leaders as he birdied four of his first eight holes.