Lahiri misses small putts but shoots 69 to lie 32nd at John Deere Classic

Silvis, Illinois, US, July 1: Anirban Lahiri started off on his quest for a berth into the 150th Open Championship with a 2-under 69 that could easily have been two or even three shots better on the opening day of the John Deere Classic. Lahiri was lying T-32 as three players not otherwise exempt who finish in the top 10 (and ties) this week earn spots into The Open Championship.

Lahiri, 35, who was a close runner-up at the PLAYERS, is trying to get a spot into the last Major of the year at St, Andrews later this month, had a birdie-run of four in a row from fourth to seventh.

In all Lahiri had five birdies against three bogeys. But what hurt him most was most missing out two small putts, one inside four feet and another inside five feet and one more of about eighth feet. In contrast his four birdie run included conversions from 20 feet and three from between 12 and 13 feet.

Meanwhile, coming off a T2 at last week’s Travelers Championship, J.T. Poston opened his campaign with a 62 for the second straight week. He was two shots clear of Canada’s Michael Gligic, who opened with a bogey-free 7-under 64.

Lahiri and C T Pan were the top Asians at T-32 with 69 each while Cam Davis was the best Asia-Pacific scorer with 68 at T-19.

Poston eagled the par-5 second and had seven birdies in a bogey-free round at TPC Deere Run. Poston won the 2019 Wyndham Championship for his lone PGA TOUR title.

Gligic was second at 64, playing in the final group of the day off the first tee. Vaughn Taylor and Christopher Gotterup followed at 65. Ricky Barnes, Denny McCarthy, Chris Naegel and Dylan Frittelli shot 66.

Defending champion Lucas Glover shot 74 and Jason Day withdrew before round one with a back injury.

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