Lahiri starts Travelers Championships with 3-under 69; Spieth in lead

Anirban Lahiri made a solid start with a three-under 67 that placed him in Tied-23rd position after the first round of the Travelers Championship.

Lahiri, who has not won since his 2015 success at his home event, the Hero Indian Open, putted much better than he has in last few weeks.   -  AFP

Anirban Lahiri made a solid start with a three-under 67 that placed him in Tied-23rd position after the first round of the Travelers Championship here.

The Indian ace, who is trying to find his form once again to get back to Top-50, had four birdies, two on either side of the turn, against one bogey on the third hole.

Jordan Spieth, who led after every round last year before winning the title on his first appearance at the event, was once again in lead, sharing it with Zach Johnson. Both shot 7-under 63.

Lahiri, who has not won since his 2015 success at his home event, the Hero Indian Open, putted much better than he has in last few weeks. That was despite missing a few between 10 and 15 feet and there was also one missed putt from inside four feet. But he also drained one from over 20 feet.

Spieth had six birdies and an eagle out the bunker on par-5 sixth hole, something like the shot he hit from a greenside bunker to win over Daniel Berger in a playoff.

Johnson went out in the morning and led for most of the day. He had eight birdies, including six straight on the back nine, one off than the course record.

Rory McIlroy missed a 13-foot putt for par on the final hole that would have given him a share of the lead and finished in a three-way tie for third place with Brian Harmon and Peter Malnati.

Both McIlroy and Spieth missed the cut in the U.S. Open.

A lot of golfers took advantage of the soft greens and favourable wind conditions Thursday. Twenty-two of them shot a 66 or better.

Brooks Koepka followed his second straight US Open victory with a 68. Koepka, who started on the 10th tee, shot a 31 on his first nine, but bogeyed four of his final six holes.

PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas was in a group of 14 players at 66. Masters champion Patrick Reed had a tougher day, making four bogeys in a 72.

Gangjee emerges as best Indian in Korea

Rahil Gangjee produced the best card among Indian golfers to make a significant move in the second round of the Kolon Korea Open Golf Championship on Friday.

Gangjee, who shot one-over 72 in the first round added a solid two-under 68 to get to one-under and Tied-17th place.

The 39-year-old from Kolkata was the best among the six Indians who made the cut for the weekend.

Khalin Joshi (70-72) was Tied-29th, while Gaganjeet Bhullar (71-73) was Tied-39th and three others -- S Chikkarangappa (70-75), Chiragh Kumar (72-73) and Ajeetesh Sandhu (73-72) made the cut on the line which fell at 3-over and were Tied-59th.

Shiv Kapur (72-75), Rashid Khan (74-79) and Jeev Milkha Singh (84-76) missed the cut.

Korea’s Hosung Choi seemed to be the man to catch after he signed for a second round five-under-par 66 to take a four-shot lead into the weekend rounds.

The 44-year-old made his move by mixing his card with four birdies, an eagle and a bogey to clinch pole position with his two-day total of nine-under-par 133 after starting the day tied for third place at the USD 1,125,000 event.

Compatriot Sanghyun Park, meanwhile, continued to ride on his good form by returning with a 69 to share second place with South Africa’s Keith Horne and fellow countryman Changwon Han at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.