Portugal Masters R1

Liam Johnston takes lead with career-best round

September 10-13
Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura, Portugal
€1,000,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Portugal Masters 2020 R1 - Johnston takes lead with career-best round
Liam Johnston. (Credit: European Tour)


Liam Johnston produced the lowest round of his European Tour career at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, firing a sparkling round of 61 to lead by one shot at the end of the opening day of the 2020 Portugal Masters.


“With the rough out there it’s nice to keep the bogeys off the card. I saved well when I needed to and holed a lot of putts out there. Delighted with the ten birdies. 

“I told my coach back home I was swinging it as good as I ever have, and my game feels like it’s trending in the right direction. More importantly, I’m in a really good place mentally. I didn’t see a round like this coming, but I felt like I was playing well. 



“I had no idea (that 59 was a possibility). I was just talking to Kristoffer Broberg there and just noticed it was a 71, I thought it was a par 72. Obviously, I was trying to hole that putt on 17 to make eagle and just left it a little bit short. Nice par on the last.”

At nine under par through 16 holes the Scot was in contention to match the historic 59 Oliver Fisher shot here two years ago. He narrowly cleared the water with his approach into the par five 17th but could not hole his eagle putt from range. A par on the last took the two-time European Challenge Tour winner to ten under par, one shot ahead of Frenchman Julien Guerrier.


“I really enjoyed how I played the course today,” said Guerrier. “The conditions were great, the weather was perfect. I played great, I hit a lot of fairways and I think that is the key here.

“As soon as I hit my ball into the rough it was a different hole. You fight for the par and when you put your ball on the fairway it’s like a birdie chance. You try to make it the best you can.”

England’s Laurie Canter is at seven under par after a round of 64, as all of the leading three players went bogey-free in Vilamoura. Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Caldwell is at six under par, one shot ahead of South African George Coetzee, England’s Matthew Jordan, Dane Thorbjørn Olesen and Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden.



“I don’t think I’ve done that for a while to be fair, bogey-free, I’ve had my fair share of bogeys so it’s nice to keep them off the card for a day,” said Guerrier.

“There’s a couple of new things I’ve been working, nothing radical really, just some good, smart advice from some good coaches and my other half, Anna, is now my manager so I’ve got to put it down to her really.”

Read next

DP World Tour Rankings

Golf Ranking
By GT Editor

A group of 12 players are then at four under par, with World Number 16 Tommy Fleetwood and the highest-placed Portuguese player Tomás Bessa amongst a further eight players at three under par.

“Overall I was happy,” said Fleetwood. “I had a dodgy spell through three, four, five, six and then started hitting it well and had chances. The course is a different test to what it’s always been. I drove it great, ignore the one on the last, I drove it really well and gave myself a lot of chances. It’s nice to be playing this course again.

“Today I felt like I was working hard, like every shot, but the more I felt myself strike the golf ball, look up and it doing what I would like it to do, the more confidence you build and that’s exactly why I’m playing this week. You’ve got to play golf really, in tournament conditions, and it’s always nice to see some work pay off in a tournament.”



Meanwhile, India’s Shubhankar Sharma recorded the first albatross on the 2020 Race to Dubai, holing out from 241 yards with his second shot on the 588 yard par 17th hole.




Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
1
Liam Johnston
-10
61
2
Julien Guerrier
-9
62
3
Laurie Canter
-7
64
4
Jonathan Caldwell
-6
65
T5
Sebastian Soderberg
-5
66
T5
Matthew Jordan
-5
66
T5
George Coetzee
-5
66
T5
Thorbjørn Olesen
-5
66
T9
Ryan Fox
-4
67
T9
Lucas Bjerregaard
-4
67
T9
Brandon Stone
-4
67
T9
Richard Bland
-4
67
T9
Nino Bertasio
-4
67
T9
Francesco Laporta
-4
67
T9
Guido Migliozzi
-4
67
T9
Masahiro Kawamura
-4
67
T9
Paul Waring
-4
67
T9
Dale Whitnell
-4
67
T9
Adrien Saddier
-4
67
T9
Sihwan Kim
-4
67
T21
Tomás Bessa
-3
68
T21
Bryce Easton
-3
68
T21
Martin Simonsen
-3
68
T21
Tommy Fleetwood
-3
68
T21
Marcus Armitage
-3
68
T21
Jorge Campillo
-3
68
T21
Steven Brown
-3
68
T21
Antoine Rozner
-3
68
T29
Tom Gandy
-2
69
T29
Ricardo Santos
-2
69
T29
David Law
-2
69
T29
Jack Senior
-2
69
T29
Adrian Meronk
-2
69
T29
Jamie Donaldson
-2
69
T29
Marcel Schneider
-2
69
T29
Jason Scrivener
-2
69
T29
Joakim Lagergren
-2
69
T29
Jose-Filipe Lima
-2
69
T29
Julian Suri
-2
69
T29
Ben Evans
-2
69
T29
Pablo Larrazabal
-2
69
T29
Ricardo Gouveia
-2
69
T29
Ashun Wu
-2
69
T29
Matthew Southgate
-2
69
T29
Matthieu Pavon
-2
69
T29
Johannes Veerman
-2
69
T29
Rhys Enoch
-2
69
T48
Kristoffer Broberg
-1
70
T48
Wil Besseling
-1
70
T48
Max Schmitt
-1
70
T48
Alexander Björk
-1
70
T48
Scott Vincent
-1
70
T48
Cormac Sharvin
-1
70
T48
David Drysdale
-1
70
T48
Robert Rock
-1
70
T48
Alejandro Cañizares
-1
70
T48
Tapio Pulkkanen
-1
70
T48
Niklas Lemke
-1
70
T48
Raphael Jacquelin
-1
70
T48
Garrick Porteous
-1
70
T48
Tomas Santos Silva
-1
70
T48
Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez
-1
70
T48
Emilio Cuartero Blanco
-1
70
T48
Robin Roussel
-1
70
T48
Wilco Nienaber
-1
70
T66
Thomas Bjørn
E
71
T66
Gavin Moynihan
E
71
T66
Ignacio Elvira Mijares
E
71
T66
Jens Fahrbring
E
71
T66
Lars van Meijel
E
71
T66
Andres Romero
E
71
T66
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño
E
71
T66
David Howell
E
71
T66
Vitor Lopes (a)
E
71
T66
Oliver Fisher
E
71
T66
Joost Luiten
E
71
T66
Gregory Havret
E
71
T78
Carlos Pigem
1
72
T78
Anton Karlsson
1
72
T78
Haydn Porteous
1
72
T78
Ben Stow
1
72
T78
Marcus Kinhult
1
72
T78
Dave Coupland
1
72
T78
John Catlin
1
72
T78
Pedro Lencart (a)
1
72
T78
Pedro Figueiredo
1
72
T78
Maximilian Kieffer
1
72
T78
Grant Forrest
1
72
T78
Rikard Karlberg
1
72
T78
Zach Murray
1
72
T78
Richard McEvoy
1
72
T78
Jake McLeod
1
72
T93
Alvaro Quiros
2
73
T93
Justin Walters
2
73
T93
Jordan Smith
2
73
T93
Toby Tree
2
73
T93
Shubhankar Sharma
2
73
T93
Sebastian Heisele
2
73
T93
Calum Hill
2
73
T93
José María Olazábal
2
73
T93
Daan Huizing
2
73
T93
Kalle Samooja
2
73
T93
Ewen Ferguson
2
73
T93
Robin Sciot-Siegrist
2
73
T93
Joel Sjoholm
2
73
T93
Nicolai Von Dellingshausen
2
73
T107
Peter Hanson
3
74
T107
Andrea Pavan
3
74
T107
Jbe Kruger
3
74
T107
Benjamin Poke
3
74
T107
Eduardo De la Riva
3
74
T107
Lorenzo Gagli
3
74
T107
Benjamin Hebert
3
74
T107
Haotong Li
3
74
T107
Joël Stalter
3
74
T107
Matthew Baldwin
3
74
T107
Jean Baptiste Gonnet
3
74
T107
Jonathan Thomson
3
74
T107
Maverick Antcliff
3
74
T107
Will Enefer
3
74
T121
Wade Ormsby
4
75
T121
Chris Paisley
4
75
T123
Oliver Wilson
5
76
T123
Stephen Gallacher
5
76
T125
Ross Fisher
6
77
T125
Darius van Driel
6
77
T125
Mathieu Fenasse (a)
6
77
T125
Jacques Kruyswijk
6
77
T125
Damien Perrier
6
77
T130
Steve Webster
7
78
T130
Alexander Levy
7
78
132
Miguel Gaspar
11
82