Nino Bertasio will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Portugal Masters after firing a second consecutive 65 on day two at Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.
The Italian entered the week needing a big finish to the season, sitting at 117th on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and also outside the top ten on the Access List.
He has just three European Tour top tens in his 61 events – including at this year’s LYONESS OPEN powered by ORGANIC+ – but the 2015 Qualifying School graduate got to 12 under to put himself in pole position for a first European Tour win.
Lucas Bjerregaard and Marc Warren – two men also on the outside looking in at the top 100 places in the Rankings – were then a shot behind, one clear of Joost Luiten and Jason Scrivener.
Bjerregaard is 114th with Warren 59 places below him but they made a mockery of those positions on a day of good scoring in Vilamoura.
Warren is a three-time winner on the European Tour but has made just two of his last 12 cuts with a best finish in 2017 of tied 14th at the Made In Denmark.
He birdied the 11th and 16th before an eagle on the next helped him turn in 32 with further gains on the second, fifth and eighth.
Dutchman Luiten carried the momentum over from his opening 64 as he birdied the second and fourth, holed a long putt on the ninth and then put a stunning approach into the tenth before dropping his only shot of the day on the 14th.
Australia’s Scrivener also made a positive start with birdies on the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th but could not make any further progress in his last ten holes.
South African pair Dean Burmester and George Coetzee, English duo Eddie Pepperell and Graeme Storm, and Ireland’s Shane Lowry were then at nine under, a shot ahead of defending champion Padraig Harrington, Belgian Thomas Detry and Spain’s Nacho Elvira.
Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
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