Fisher and Gallacher on top

  • Last Updated: October 11 2012, 19:57 BST

Former Ryder Cup star Ross Fisher and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher both matched their lowest rounds of the year to share the lead at the Portugal Masters.

Fisher: Hard work paidd off with a 65

While Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal managed only a 75 on his return to action, the pair shot six-under-par 65s at Oceanico Victoria.

Fisher was part of Colin Montgomerie's victorious side in Wales two years ago, but has managed only one top-five finish since that memorable week and finds himself down at 140th in the world.

"It's been a tough season," the 31-year-old Englishman said, "but it's nice to see my hard work pay off, and if that Ryder Cup win doesn't inspire you then nothing will.

"It was weird - I was more nervous watching on the sofa than I was playing at Celtic Manor."

The closest he came to winning this year was the Wales Open in June. He was one behind with four to play, but was then given a one-stroke penalty for slow play and dropped to sixth.

Gallacher, meanwhile, was still in contention for the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews on Sunday when he played the wrong ball on the 16th and ran up a quadruple-bogey eight.

Keeping a bogey off his card next time out was a fine effort by the 37-year-old, nephew of ex-Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher.

"There's not much rough and the greens are unbelievably good, but when the wind got up it was pretty tough," he said.

Olazabal hooked into the lake on the 18th - his ninth - for a triple-bogey seven and was out-scored by playing partners Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari, the two members of his team in the field.

Kaymer scored 69, the same as defending champion Tom Lewis, and Molinari 71, the same as his brother Edoardo.

Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley, the two front-runners for Olazabal's job, had differing fortunes. Clarke finished with an eight-iron into the ninth hole for an eagle two and a 70, but McGinley withdrew before the start with a bad back.

Gallacher's compatriot George Murray, who like Lewis has missed his last eight cuts and - at 163rd on the money list - desperately needs a big week to avoid a return to the qualifying school, is alone in third following a 66.

The group one further back includes Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Ireland's Shane Lowry.

Collated first-round scores (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

65 Stephen Gallacher, Ross Fisher

66 George Murray

67 Christian Nilsson (Swe), Jbe Kruger (Rsa), Shane Lowry, Jamie Donaldson, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe)

68 Anthony Wall, Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Daniel Denison, Michael Campbell (Nzl), Joakim Lagergren (Swe), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa), Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa)

69 Carlos Del Moral (Spa), Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Martin Kaymer (Ger), Marc Warren, Markus Brier (Aut), Gareth Maybin, George Coetzee (Rsa), Lee Slattery, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg), Tom Lewis, Andrea Pavan (Ita), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Thorbjorn Olesen (Den), Keith Horne (Rsa), Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Thomas Levet (Fra), Padraig Harrington

70 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned), Damien McGrane, James Kingston (Rsa), Danny Willett, Jose-Filipe Lima (Por), Alexander Noren (Swe), Federico Colombo (Ita), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Michael Hoey, Henrik Stenson (Swe), Richard Bland, Martin Wiegele (Aut), Hennie Otto (Rsa), Peter Whiteford, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe), Matthew Zions (Aus), Darren Clarke, Richard Finch, Rich Beem (USA), Richard Green (Aus), Ricardo Melo Gouveia (Por), Pedro Figueiredo (Por)

71 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Steve Webster, Anders Hansen (Den), Matteo Manassero (Ita), Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa), Kenneth Ferrie, Scott Jamieson, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Jamie Elson, Mark Foster, Edoardo Molinari (Ita)

72 Mikael Lundberg (Swe), Gary Orr, Robert Coles, Joost Luiten (Ned), Ricardo Santos (Por), Peter Hedblom (Swe), Simon Dyson, Felipe Aguilar (Chi), Sam Little, Bradley Dredge, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra), Jamie Moul, David Howell, Marcel Siem (Ger), Rhys Davies, Andrew Dodt (Aus), Hugo Santos (Por), David Lynn, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra), Simon Khan, Andy Sullivan, David Drysdale, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita)

73 Mikko Ilonen (Fin), Peter Lawrie, Graeme Storm, Johan Edfors (Swe), Jose Manuel Lara (Spa), Gary Boyd, Nuno Henriques (Por), Robert Rock, Tommy Fleetwood, Craig Lee, Estanislao Goya (Arg), Matthew Baldwin, James Morrison, Oscar Floren (Swe), Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Richard Sterne (Rsa)

74 Richard McEvoy, Jorge Campillo (Spa), Darren Fichardt (Rsa), Antonio Rosado (Por), Shaun Micheel (USA), Michael Jonzon (Swe), Pablo Martin (Spa)

75 Paul Waring, David Horsey, Maarten Lafeber (Ned), Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa), Niclas Fasth (Swe), Ignacio Garrido (Spa), Benjamin Hebert (Fra)

76 Tjaart Van Der Walt (Rsa), Julien Quesne (Fra), Simon Thornton, Gregory Havret (Fra)

77 Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Phillip Price

78 Tiago Cruz (Por)

79 Richard S Johnson (Swe), Andrew Marshall

WD: Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 77, Victor Dubuisson (Fra) 74


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