McGowan sinks eight birdies

Updated: April 3, 2009, 12:39 AM ET
Associated Press

CASCAIS, Portugal -- Ross McGowan of England equaled his lowest European Tour score on Thursday, shooting a 7-under 64 to lead the Estoril Open by two shots over Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland.

Portuguese Open

1. McGowan (-7)
2. Hoey (-5)
T-3. Dyson (-4)
T-3. Forsyth (-4)
T-3. Del Moral (-4)
• Complete scores

McGowan's performance came in windy conditions at Oitavos Dunes Club.

Yet to win on tour and ranked 164th in the world, he was asked afterward where he'd like to be in four or five years.

"Obviously I'd like to be No. 1 in the world, but it is how you get there. Not all of us are as gifted as Tiger [Woods]," said McGowan, the 2006 English amateur champion.

Hoey, a former British amateur champion, eagled the 573-yard, par-5 16th.

A further shot back with 67s were Carlos del Moral of Spain, Simon Dyson of England and Alastair Forsyth of Scotland, who lost in a three-man playoff last year.

Del Moral won the 2006 Texbond Open at Garda Golf, the former venue of the Italian Open.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press