Lahiri impresses with fine first round show

Kuala Lumpur: Anirban Lahiri got off to a flying start with a five-under 67 in the first round to be at tied eighth in the CIMB Classic golf tournament at the TPC Kuala Lumpur club here, Thursday. Fellow Indian, SSP Chawrasia (72) was tied 44th.

Lahiri is three shots behind Australian Cameron Smith, who after a successful rookie season on the PGA Tour, holds the lead for the first time in his career. He shot an error-free 64 with five birdies on front nine and three on back nine.

Lahiri, playing the CIMB Classic for the sixth time, has great affinity for the TPC Kuala Lumpur course. The 67 marked the 11th time he scored 70 or under in the last 13 rounds at the course. “I know the course well and I like it, the way I like the DGC (Delhi Golf Course),” said Lahiri after the end of the day’s play.

With four birdies in first five holes and seven in his first nine, Lahiri looked set for a real low number. But the second nine had a lot of ‘misses’ from makeable range. Lahiri had one bogey, when the putt slipped by from under 10 feet and a birdie on par-5 third.

Chawrasia’s 72 round included a trip into the water hazard on his second hole (11th of the course) and near hole-in-one. “On the positive side I had quite a lot of saves with up-and-downs,” said Chawrasia.

Smith’s 64 gave him a one-shot lead over a trio of Xander Schauffele, Thai youngster Poom Saksansin and American Keegan Bradley who shot 65 each.

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