Anirban Lahiri opens with solid 68, lies 21st at Farmers Insurance

Lahiri's playing partner, Alex Noren and former Masters winner, Patrick Reed, grabbed a share of the lead with 8-under 64 each.

Anirban Lahiri

Anirban Lahiri got off to a solid start at the Farmers Insurance Open with a card of four-under 68.   -  Getty Images

Anirban Lahiri got off to a solid start at the Farmers Insurance Open with a card of four-under 68, picking seven birdies in the opening round at the Torrey Pines North Course.

Four of his birdies came at all Par-5s. Lahiri is now lying T-21, four shots off the lead. Lahiri's playing partner, Alex Noren and former Masters winner, Patrick Reed, grabbed a share of the lead with 8-under 64 each.

Scottie Scheffler is right behind them with 65, also on the North Course, while as many as a dozen players are tied at 6-under 66.

Majority of the day's good scores in the 156-man field came on the North Course. Each player will play once each on the North and South Course before the 36-hole cut is made.

Lahiri, who started on the 10th said, "I played decent today, actually got lucky a little bit. I hit my driver offline quite a bit. Luckily I played the Par-5s well as well and I found most of the fairways on them so that was good." "There were a few dropped shots. Couple of them I could have avoided but you know it's one of those things where if you don't hit a lot of fairways, then your short game has to be sharp. Overall, not a bad day and I was happy to finish with two birdies."

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Talking of his second round, Lahiri added, "Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be quite challenging and I playing on the South Course. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully minimise the mistakes again and I will try and take advantage of some of the Par-5s." One of Asian golf's biggest icons, veteran Choi turned back clock with a bogey free 66. He shared fourth place and was two behind co-leaders Reed and Noren.

Since turning 50 last May, Choi splits his time competing against the young guns on the PGA TOUR and the over-50s on PGA TOUR Champions. He has twice been runner-up here in 2014 and 2016 but missed the cut in his last three starts at Torrey Pines, which also hosts the U.S. Open in June.

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Fellow Korean and last week's winner, Si Woo Kim, kept up his hot form with a 68 at the North Course which was matched by Seung Yul Noh and Lahiri.

Eight-time PGA TOUR winner Reed tied his second-lowest first-round score on TOUR. Co-leader Noren earned his career-best PGA TOUR result at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open, losing in a playoff to Jason Day.

Of the 15 players that shot 66-or-better, only Peter Malnati (66) and Ryan Palmer (66) did so on the South Course.

Oman Open cancelled due to coronavirus

The Oman Open scheduled for March 4-7 on the European Tour has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the first event of the 2021 golf season lost to the pandemic.

The tour says the decision was made "following an announcement by the Omani government that all gatherings, international functions and sporting events are to be stopped in the country with immediate effect."

With inputs from AP