Lahiri opens with a one-under

STEADY: Anirban Lahiri tees off during the opening round of the Valspar Championship on Thursday. AFP

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 on Thursday.

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.

Luke Donald, Kevin Kisner, and Russell Knox, who fired a sensational albatross on the par-5 11th hole, are tied for third at four-under.

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.

Aditi slips

Aditi Ashok stumbled on a bogey and a double bogey on the last two holes to card one-over 73 in the first round of the USD 1.5 million Founders Cup on the LPGA tour at Phoenix.

Aditi was placed tied-90th and is in danger of missing her third cut in three starts on the LPGA this season.

Aditi's previous two starts this season have been in Australia at the Australian Open and the Vic Open and she missed the cut at both.

The Indian star, who has three wins on the Ladies European Tour, started birdie-birdie and then bogeyed three times in six holes but also had a birdie.

After nine holes, she had three birdies and three bogeys and three pars to turn in even par. She birdied 11th and 14th to get to two-under par, but the finish saw her drop three shots in two holes and she slipped to 90th place.

Celine Boutier of France, who had a breakthrough win on the LPGA at the Vic Open last month, opened with an 8-under.

 

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Lahiri opens with a one-under

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