17 August, 2017: The wounded lion is a dangerous beast. Anirban Lahiri showed exactly how that feels with a memorable first round effort in the Wyndham Championship. The 74th ranked Indian fired out of the gates with a burst of birdies to sign off with a 65 at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro. Matt Every turned pace setter with a nine under 61, settling into the comforts of the clubhouse with a two stroke lead as the morning session drew to a close.
Anirban, hurting from his disappointments in the Open Championship and the PGA Championship, responded just as you might expect of him. The 30 year old from Bengaluru started his day with a pair of birdies before going four under with an eagle at the par-5 fifth hole.
Lahiri flew 320 yards on a finely struck drive before sailing his approach to about 15 feet from the flag. He made a fine eagle putt from there after reading the line to perfection.
Anirban made another difficult 18 footer at the next hole to grow his advantage over the Daniel Ross course to five under par.
As the Sun baked the course and the players, Anirban did well to play consistent golf through the rest of the way, before conceding a bogey on the challenging 18th hole. That erased his gains from the par-5 15th hole, where he made his fourth birdie of the round.
“I got off to a good start, but missed far too many coming in,” admitted Anirban, who rued the fact that he missed at least five putts inside the ten foot range. “The last 12 holes was as bad as I could possibly play. I was hitting it real good.”
Arjun Atwal was one under through two holes at the time of this report, just before midnight IST.
Anirban enjoyed fine numbers as he made the most of the good scoring conditions in the morning session. He enjoyed a high rate of driving accuracy, keeping nearly 80% of his balls on or about the fairway.
India’s premier golfer also made 83% greens in regulation, allowing him to finally concentrate on getting his putter to work. He made several of them in the first round, many ranging from 15 to 20 feet to ensure himself a good start.
Anirban was lying T8 at the time of this report, but with the course playing benign, it could change around a bit as the afternoon groups return home later in the day.