Hot Coles makes flying start
England's Robert Coles made the ideal start in his battle to retain his European Tour card when the Portugal Masters got under way on Thursday.
Coles is currently 164th on the Race to Dubai with only the top 110 after next week's Perth International keeping their full playing privileges for 2014.
The 41-year-old has managed just one top-20 finish all season - in the very first event in South Africa which was reduced to 36 holes due to bad weather - but found himself top of the leaderboard with four birdies in his first five holes at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course.
Coles, who is still looking for his first victory in more than 360 events, picked up shots at the first, second, third and fifth to lead by one shot from Ryder Cup star Francesco Molinari, Wales' Jamie Donaldson, England's David Lynn and Sweden's Alex Noren.
Scotland's Chris Doak, who is 112th in the money list, was a shot further back on two under alongside Spain's Jose Manuel Lara, who is also struggling to keep his card at 158th in the standings.
Defending champion Shane Lowry has no such worries after a consistent season that includes a share of third place in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship a fortnight ago, but the Irishman was four off the pace on level par.
Lowry bogeyed his opening hole, the 10th, after a poor drive but birdied the 14th to repair the damage.