Despite putting woes, Lahiri opens with fine 65 in Wyndham

Lahiri’s card could well have been an even better and as low as a 61 or 62 had some of the short putts dropped.

Anirban Lahiri of India plays his tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club.   -  AFP

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri opened the week at the Wyndham Championships with a five-under 65 to grab the tied 13th place after the opening round at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro on Thursday.

Lahiri’s card could well have been an even better and as low as a 61 or 62 had some of the short putts dropped.

The Indian is now four shots behind the leader Matt Every (61), who equaled the course record of 61 set by another Indian, Arjun Atwal, who did so when he won the event in 2010.

Lahiri, whose new set of irons arrived just before the Wyndham Championships, found them great and they did their job and provided him with ample birdie opportunities, but unfortunately his putting woes continued to bother him.

“I missed at least 5-6 putts inside 10 feet and some of them were inside six feet, so it could have been way better, even though 65 is not all that bad,” said Lahiri.

“But this is a kind of a course, where even three-under would push you back.”

The other Indian in the fray this week is Atwal, a former winner of this event in 2010. He shot one-under 69 in the first round and was Tied-86th. Atwal is the first and to-date the only Indian to win on the PGA Tour.

Lahiri added, “I hit it great and the irons, which my coach, Vijay (Divecha) Sir and I decide to build on, were fine. We had been working on it as things did not work out last few weeks. But they were fine on Thursday, unfortunately the putter did not quite match it.

“It is a great course and it is fun having Arjun (Atwal).

We had dinner together before the start of the event and he has great knowledge of the course, having won here and having played so often out here. This is my first time here.”

Every is one stroke ahead of Henrik Stenson (62), while another former Wyndham winner Webb Simpson was at 63 along with Cameron Smith, Vaughn Taylor, Tim Wilkinson, Harold Varner III, Brian Campbell and Sam Saunders.

Davis Love III — the 53-year-old player who has won this tournament three times, most recently in 2015 — matched Martin Flores and Rick Lamb with a 64.

Every, a 33-year-old with two career victories on Tour, arrived at par-70 Sedgefield Country Club in a tie for 183rd on the FedExCup points list. The top 125 qualify for The Northern Trust next week in New York.

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