Estoril, Portugal:Simon Dyson has the lead after the first round of the Portuguese Open at Estoril on Thursday (29/03), after the Englishman shot a four-under-par round of 67.
Compatriot Ross McGowan, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen and Stephen Gallacher of Scotland lie a shot off the pace on three-under, with two-time defending champion Paul Broadhurst leading a pack of three players on two-under-par, with compatriots Nick Dougherty and Barry Lane.
Nestling on the Atlantic coast of Portugal, the Quinta Da Marinha golf complex at Estoril might be used to a few nautical gales, but the wind rose to exceptional levels on Thursday for the first round of the Portuguese Open.
Gusts of up to 30 miles-per-hour (54 kph) made the conditions challenging indeed, but Rafael Cabrera Bello gave the galleries their closest look at a potential hole-in-one at the par-three 12th.
However, after going out in a two-under-par 33 from the 10th, the 22-year-old Spaniard came home five-over-par and had to settle for a three-over 74 at the end of the day, seven shots off the lead.
Another Rafael fared rather better - Argentina's Rafael Echenique also went out in 33 but coped better with his closing holes, carding a level-par 71.
All eyes this week will be on England's Paul Broadhurst as the Englishman tries to become one of an elite group of players to win an event on the European Tour three times in a row.
Tiger Woods has done it, as has Colin Montgomerie, and after winning here in 2005 and defending the title at Le Meridien Penina last year, Broadhurst did his chances of a hat-trick no harm at all with an opening round of 69, two-under-par.
Broadhurst leads a trio of Englishmen two shots off the lead, with Nick Dougherty and Barry Lane.
Dougherty carded four birdies and two bogeys in his 69.
One of three players on three-under-par after the first round, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen almost made it to the top of the leaderboard with this birdie attempt at the 18th.
The ball came to rest just two inches from the hole and Oosthuizen had to be content with a 68, alongside another Englishman, Ross McGowan and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher.
Gallacher dropped a shot on the 18th to slip back to three-under, allowing England's Simon Dyson to lead the field going into Friday's econd round.
Dyson could even have opened up a two-shot lead had this eagle attempt on the seventh dropped in.
The Indonesian and KLM Open champion from 2006 had already eagled the 16th on his way to a 67, the round of the day, and so it is Dyson who has the advantage going into round two.