Doug Johnson stormed into an early lead during the first round of the Belas Clube de Campo Senior Open de Portugal as he had a flawless start to the tournament at Belas, outside Lisbon.
The American, who is yet to win on the European Senior Tour, carded three birdies in a three under par front nine of 33, before birdies at the 10th and 11th left him five under through 15 holes.
The 51 year old made a fairytale return to professional golf and the Senior Tour in the 2009 season ten months after a horrific accident in which he suffered severe burns when the carburettor of a van he was trying to fix exploded, leaving him in hospital for 21 days with his life hanging in the balance.
He was leading by two shots through 12 holes, with Jimmy Heggarty of Northern Ireland and Gordon Brand Jnr close behind on three under.
Marc Farry was amongst the chasing pack on two under as he reached the turn while the in-form Roger Chapman was one under through three holes.
Carl Mason, who is technically the defending champion at Belas Clube de Campo having won the Senior Open de Portugal in 2006, has a steady start as he had six birdies in his opening six holes, leaving him level par.
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