30 May 2019: Anirban Lahiri could be planning on a very special gift to his wife and child on the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary. The Indian put an end to a difficult stretch on the PGA TOUR with a brilliant 67 at the Muirfield Village Golf Club outside Ohio. Ryan Moore edged Jordan Spieth into the lead with an opening 65, with the latter posting a 66. Anirban is lying in T3 with Marc Leishman and Martin Kaymer.
Anirban played well tee to green – with a near 80% accuracy off the tee, he hit 13 of 18 greens in regulation during his first round at the Memorial Tournament, finishing the day at 5 under. Lahiri finished his round in 3rd at 5 under; Ryan Moore and Jordan Spieth are tied for 1st at 7 under; and Bud Cauley, Vaughn Taylor, Kaymer and Leishman are all at T3.
The Indian made his first move at the second hole. Playing off the left of the fairway, Anirban covered 160yards with his approach to set up his first birdie of the day.
At the par-5 fifth hole, Anirban laid up with his approach before chipping his third to six feet from the cup. He wasn’t as clean on the next par-5 though, taking a bogey on the seventh, after reaching the green in five.
Anirban navigated his approach shot to just 5 feet from the flag on the par-4 ninth to make the third birdie of his round. He added another soon after the turn with a birdie at the par-4 10th hole.
The Indian courted the left rough on the 184-yard par-3 12th, ending up 8 yards to the green with his second shot. He took two strokes from there for his second bogey of the round.
Determined to make the most of some good golf, Anirban produced three straight birdies from the 14th to secure his 67.
Moore endured some early jitters before producing a bogey-free 65 to take the lead. The ball kissed the lip edge to edge, as it did a 360-degree roll, before dropping in. That birdie at the par-3 fourth left Moore dropping his jaw in disbelief.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ball go that far around the hole and go in the hole,” Moore said.
“And in the five to eight-foot range, they seemed to be lipping out (this season), and today they lipped in a couple of times.
“So it’s always nice to get that stuff going and get the momentum and keep the momentum, just makes you feel better.”
Shubhankar Sharma had a disastrous start, taking punches soon as he began his round. Four bogeys in five holes from the tenth set him back in a seemingly irreparable start.
But the gritty Indian stuck to the task and produced a great recovery from there. He broke a run of seven straight pars with back to back birdies at the fourth and fifth, before adding two more at 7 & 9 for a 73.