Lahiri opens with a creditable one-under at Valspar Championships

Lahiri is four shots behind the leaders Joel Dahman of the US and Austrian Sepp Straka.

Anirban Lahiri demands his start as "decent" on a "fair but demanding Copperhead course".   -  Getty Images

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri opened with a creditable one-under 70 in the first round to sit in a tie for 28th place at the USD 6.7 million Valspar Championship here.

Lahiri, who is having a rough time this season, is four shots behind the leaders Joel Dahman of the US and Austrian Sepp Straka, who shot five-under 66 each at the Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead course.

The scoring was not easy with only 44 players in the field going under par.

Lahiri, who has played the event in the past, said, “It was a decent start on a fair but demanding Copperhead course. One needs to keep the momentum going.”

Lahiri opened with a string of nine pars on the front nine and then nailed his first birdie on the 10th from inside six feet. He then rolled in another birdie on 15th from 22 feet.

The Indian dropped a shot on the Par-3 13th as he two-putted from 40 feet after hitting his tee shot into the left rough from where he had to chip.

Read: Bhullar makes a solid start in Maybank golf

Luke Donald, Kevin Kisner, and Russell Knox are tied for third at four-under and off them Knox has an albatross. It was the first-ever albatross at the Valspar.

Knox hit a 3-wood 275 yards for his second shot on the par-5 11th hole that ran on and into the cup.

Denny McCarthy, Roberto Castro, Brian Stuard, Keegan Bradley, and Shawn Stefani are tied for sixth at 3-under.

Stars like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Players Championship runner-up Jim Furyk are all bunched at Tied 11th on 2-under par 69s.

Defending champion Paul Casey opened with a 1-under 70 in his bid to become the first player to successfully defend his Valspar Championship title.

Indian-American Akshay Bhatia, 17, the only amateur in the field, opened with a 3-over 74. He is competing in his first PGA Tour event on a sponsor exemption.

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