Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri shot a fine 5-under 65 to position himself in tied-7th place after the opening day of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club here.
Landing six birdies against one solitary bogey, Lahiri was three shots behind the leader and two-time WGC winner, Ian Poulter, whose 8-under 62 tied the record for lowest first-round score in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Shubhankar tied 63rd
India’s other player in the field, Shubhankar Sharma shot 2-over 72 and was T-63rd in the 71-man field. Sharma had two birdies against four bogeys in his third WGC appearance.
Tiger Woods, T-6 at the Open last month, and an eight-time winner at Firestone, opened with a 66 to sit at T-14.
Englishman Poulter produced his lowest round in eight years with eight birdies and no bogeys as favourable scoring conditions resulted in a lot of low scores.
Poulter’s 62 was his best since 2010 UBS Hong Kong Open, where he had a second-round 60 en route to lifting the trophy.
Americans Kyle Stanley and Rickie Fowler were in a tie for second on seven under par after shooting opening 63s, while Spain’s Jon Rahm, American Patrick Cantlay and South Korea’s Si Woo Kim were then another stroke back on six under.
Lahiri and six others – Rory Mcllroy, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Marc Leishman, Luke List and Kevin Na – shot 65 each to be T-7.
Lowest opening round this season
The 65 was Lahiri’s lowest round at Firestone and his lowest opening round this season. This is his third appearance in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational where he finished T-53 and T-33 in 2016 and 2015 respectively. He was T-5 after the opening round in 2016 following a 68.
Playing his ninth WGC, he has been T-28 three times for his best result.
Lahiri’s play was a mix of great second shots and when he did miss the green in regulation, he chipped well enough to find up and downs and pars.
He missed only one chip on the 10th after missing the fairway and did not have a good lie. He made his only bogey there.
Barring the birdie putt on ninth from 15 feet, the rest of the birdies came from well inside 10 feet, highlighting some good iron play.
FedExCup points leader and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson opened with a 1-under 69 for T-39.PTI
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