Anirban Lahiri makes a strong start to Bermuda Championship

Anirban Lahiri made three-under 68 in the opening round. Peter Malnati gained a one-stroke advantage with a 63

Anirban Lahiri of India plays his shot from the fourth tee during the third round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at The Country Club of Jackson - Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Returning to action after a three week hiatus, Anirban Lahiri shot a three under 68 in the opening round of the Bermuda Championship. Peter Malnati took a one-stroke lead with an imposing 63 on Thursday. Doug Ghim and Ryan Armour were a shot back behind the leader.

Anirban made a fiery start as he coasted through the front nine in 32 strokes with five birdies. When he made a birdie at the 10th, the Indian moved to five-under, firmly inside the top ten. But back to back bogeys at 12 & 13 cost the Indian dear as he ended the day in T26.

It was an impressive round of golf though, as he struggled off the tee, particularly on the second nine. Anirban’s driving accuracy was just 35.71% underscoring his gritty effort, often working from the rough. He had seven birdies and four bogeys in the first round.

Malnati is on a hot streak, and the opening 63 sets the stage for a potentially third straight top five finish. He could emulate Hudson Swafford who converted his 18-hole lead in the Puntacana Resort & Club Championship earlier this season. Malnati’s only victory on the PGA TOUR came at the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2015.

Will Zalatoris could secure a special temporary membership with a good finish this week. He is chasing a fourth top ten finish in just his fifth start this season.