Anirban Lahiri off to flying start with six-under 66 in Sanderson Farms

Anirban Lahiri got off to one of his best starts on the PGA Tour as he fired a sizzling six-under 66 in the first round of the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Anirban Lahiri got off to one of his best starts on the PGA Tour (File photo).   -  AP Photo

Anirban Lahiri got off to one of his best starts on the PGA Tour as he fired a sizzling six-under 66 in the first round of the Sanderson Farms Championship here on Thursday.

He was Tied-third when he finished after being one of the early starters and a whole lot of players were yet to come in.

Charley Hoffman and Jimmy Walker were early leaders at seven-under each through 16 holes.

Hoffman started from the first and Walker started from the 10th on what looked to be a day of low scores. JT Poston and Keegan Bradley were also six-under but had one and three holes still to play.

Lahiri, who got into the field for this week on the strength of his Top-10 finish last week, has been trending well since the start of the new 2020-21 season.

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He was T-36 at Safeway Open and was Tied-6th at Corales Championship in Dominican Republic last week for his first Top-10 finish in almost two years.

In the first round, he had six birdies and no bogeys. The highlight of his game was his excellent form around the greens. He came up with a brilliant 24-foot putt on Par-3 seventh and chip-in birdie from the fringe and 24 feet away on par-4 12th.

Lahiri did not find as many fairways as he would have liked — he missed four fairways and on at least three other occasions he was in the intermediate for 50 cent in terms of finding fairways.

But he reached 83 per cent greens in regulations and on the greens, he was consistent with 1.83 strokes gained in putting. Whenever he was more than 15-20 feet from the pin, he did well to get into tap-in range and made no mistakes.

He did miss a nine-footer on Par-4 second and a 10-footer for birdie on Par-5 fifth. Yet the work he has put into his game during the lockdown is beginning to pay off. Later his 26-foot putt for birdie on 16th stopped an inch short on the lip of the hole.

After the Corales Puntacana last week he had said that he had not hit his irons well enough to be happy but had putted well. It seems the putter is staying hot.

Lahiri’s best start on the PGA Tour is eight-under 64 in the CareerBuilder Challenger in 2016.