Jonathan Caldwell and Cormac Sharvin will need to show more for the remainder of the Portugal Masters if they want to avoid DP World Tour Q-School after both got off to slow starts in Vilamoura.
Caldwell was the better of the pair on the opening day, five birdies and three bogeys leading to a two-under 69 that has him just inside the top-60 and on the cut line, while Sharvin carded five bogeys and four birdies in a one-over 72 to sit tied-100th.
The pair will both need big finishes at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course if they are to break into the top-120 on the Race to Dubai that retain their playing rights for next season, meaning they will have to turn things around quickly in Portugal.
Caldwell is the likelier of the two to make it as he is currently projected to move up to 192nd in the Order of Merit, with Sharvin sitting down in 236th, but the reality is both likely need to win the tournament to avoid needing to go to Q-School for a shot at their cards for next year.
Meanwhile, England’s Jordan Smith holds the early lead after a superb bogey-free nine-under 62 that consisted of seven birdies and an eagle, which has him one shot ahead of the Netherlands’ Joost Luiten and Denmark’s Jeff Winther.
The second-placed pair both signed for bogey-free rounds of their own, both containing eight birdies, with Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren, Malaysia’s Gavin Green and France’s Robin Roussel tied for fourth at seven-under-par.