Anirban Lahiri got off to a fine start with 4-under 66 despite a disappointing closing bogey on the 18th in the first round of the Wyndham Championship.
He had six birdies and was tied-14th after the first round.
John Huh led the field with a stunning 9-under 61 with seven birdies and an eagle.
Lahiri’s putting him let him down on the day as he created a lot of chances but also missed as many as five putts inside 10 feet, including the bogey on the third from five feet and the final bogey on 18th from under seven and a half feet.
However, he also had two putts over 20 feet – a 21-footer for birdie on Par-3 12th and a 22-footer for another birdie on Par-4 14th.
Lahiri birdied the first, fifth and sixth and dropped a shot on third in the front nine. On the back nine, he birdied 12th, 14th and 15th but dropped a shot on 18th, where he had a 298-yard drive on the 507-yard par-4 hole.
Lahiri chipped his third shot to little over 7 feet from where he missed a par putt. His two long birdies were on the 235-yard par-3 12th, where he hit his tee shot to 21 feet and holed it. On the 505-yard par-4 14th hole, Lahiri reached the green in two and sunk a 22-foot putt for birdie.
A recent 10-day trip back to India to fine-tune his game with swing coach, Vijay Divecha, seems to have paid off. While he was runner-up at THE PLAYERS Championship in March, he had missed four of his last five cuts.
“I’m really excited about how I’m playing. I think I played really, really good. Putted pretty bad, to be honest, and still shot a good score. I think the time off working with my coach, going back to India, has given me that confidence. I can feel it,” Lahiri said.
“I’m seeing and hitting much, much better golf shots. Obviously, you’ve got to clean up a little bit and hopefully kind of bring it all together,” added Lahiri, who ranked fifth in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green but was 112th in the putting category.
At a venue where countryman Arjun Atwal wrote a slice of golf history by becoming the first Indian winner on the PGA TOUR in 2010, Lahiri knows there is plenty to play for especially with the FedExCup Playoffs starting next week.
He feels at home at Sedgefield.
“It’s a lot like what I played growing up. Bermuda is something that comes naturally to me, although I don’t think I’ve ever played in Bermuda greens as fast as this. I’ve shot some good scores here and hopefully I can just build on this,” he said.
He admitted that his form tapered off a bit since May and now he is again gaining back lost ground.
“I’ve kind of cooled off a little bit since May. I had a good stretch going there from THE PLAYERS onward, I had some good momentum, took a break and haven’t really been able to get back to playing my best.
“And I’ve not played the last three weeks, that was another decision I took with just going and seeing my coach.”