Lahiri off to a great start in Shriners as Korea’s Kang takes lead in Vegas

Anirban Lahiri. File Pic

Las Vegas, US, Oct 8: Anirban Lahiri got off to a superb start with a 6-under 65 that included an eagle chip-in and five other birdies in the first round of the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

Lahiri’s 65 put him in Tied-10th place on a course that afforded low scores led by Sung Kang, who shot 10-under 61 with an eagle finish from 18 feet. He led by two strokes over Charley Hoffman, Chad Ramey and fellow South Korean Sungjae Im, who are all tied for second at 8-under 63.

Indian-American Sahith Theegala, who was T-8 last week, shot 1-under 70 and was way behind at 99th.

Lahiri, still searching for his maiden PGA Tour win said, “I’m quite happy with the way I played. I drove it really well today so it was nice to get that rhythm going with the drivers, that was definitely something that was not there last week.

I’ve put in some work with (coach) Vijay (Divecha) earlier and on the weekend.”

He added, “It was nice to pick up an extra shot on that 16th with a nice eagle chip-In from a difficult position (about 45 feet) but I just feel like I could have probably come in a little bit better.

“On the seventh hole I had a 30-35 yard chip for a birdie and I didn’t get up and down. But all in all, good start. The golf course is there for that taking and like last year it is going to be a very low scoring week. Hopefully tomorrow, I have slightly better scoring conditions in the morning, and if I can keep that rhythm going and get off to another good start hopefully and build on that. I am happy and feel quite relaxed and looking forward to the rest of the week.”

Lahiri hit only 8 of the 18 greens in regulation, even though he drove well in the first round. But he had no misses inside 10 feet and had a fine chip-in from 45 feet, to boot.

Lahiri starting from 10th birdied the par-4 12th, and then the 13th followed by another at the par-4 15th where Lahiri hit his tee shot 315 yards to the green. He ended two putting for a birdie and to move to 3-under.

At the par-5 16th, Lahiri chipped in his third shot from 15 yards off the green for an eagle to get to 5-under for the round. Then on the 196-yard par-3 17th, Lahiri’s tee shot went 170 yards to the right side of the fairway and he missed the green in regulation and had a for bogey.

On the par-4 first, Lahiri hit his approach to nine feet to get back to 5-under and got his final birdie on the third from 24 feet to reach 6-under. Over the next six holes, the closest he got to was 12 feet which he missed and ended with par.

Sung Kang opened with a 61, one stroke shy of his career-low round on the PGA TOUR. Kang, 34, who won his lone PGA Tour title at the 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson, had nine birdies, an eagle and one bogey.

Adam Schenk, Talor Gooch, Chesson Hadley, Matthew Wolff and Australia’s Matt Jones carded 7-under 64 each to be in tie for fifth. Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen were among those at 6-under 65. Defending champion Martin Laird of Scotland had a 4-under 67.

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Proud of his Indian heritage, Indo-American Theegala praises Lahiri ahead of Shriners

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