Lahiri 44th in first round at Phoenix Open

Lahiri's 70 placed him T-44 in the unfinished first round, which was suspended due to darkness.

FILE PHOTO: Anirban Lahiri carded a one-under 70.   -  AP

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri made a strong comeback after a sedate start as he was one-under 70 in the opening round of the USD 8.2 million Waste Management Phoenix Open here.

Lahiri's 70 placed him T-44 in the unfinished first round, which was suspended due to darkness.

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Lahiri, starting from 10th, birdied the 13th from just over 10 feet and then dropped a shot on 16th. He turned in one-under following a birdie on 18th with a nine-foot birdie putt.

On his second nine, Lahiri took a drop in left rough and then missed a 10-footer for par on Par-4 first.

On the Par-5 third, Lahiri reached the green in two and had a 21-footer for an eagle. He managed a tap-in birdie and finished the day with six straight pars for 70.

Indian-American Sahith Theegala, who has often expressed a desire to play in India, was in stunning form as he was 7-under through 16 holes after starting from the 10th.

Theegala, a much decorated collegiate golfer, faces a clutch 16-footer for par on 8th, his 17th hole when he returns on the second day.

Playing on a sponsor's exemption, Theegala is the provisional leader at 7-under, as Korea’s KH Lee fired a super 6-under 65 for the first round clubhouse lead.

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Theegala was thrilled to be there in the first place as a sponsor's exemption.

"I was obviously really excited because I knew the history of the tournament and obviously super strong field, probably the strongest field I played in so far this year, and I just figured it was like another free roll opportunity, might as well take advantage of it and obviously super thankful that I got in,” Theegala said.

Holder Brooks Koepka is amongst those who opened with a 66 while World No. 1 Jon Rahm and Olympic Games gold medallist Xander Schauffele shot 67s.

Two-time WM Phoenix Open champion and FedExCup points leader Hideki Matsuyama carded a 68 despite making three successive bogeys early on.

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