09 November 2018: Anirban Lahiri has been due for a long time now. The exceptionally talented Indian golfer has been treading on ice for while now, battling persistent dips in form even as he chased an elusive victory on the PGA TOUR. The long wait could finally be coming to an end. The 30 year old played some spectacularly ambitious golf on Thursday at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, firing two eagles on his way to a brilliant 66. The first round is still under progress at the time of this report – with Matt Kuchar in the clubhouse at 7-under. Several other golfers were yet to begin their rounds.
Starting on the tenth tee, Anirban got off to a hot start early in the day. He was on the green in three at the par-5 13th hole, a silky putt easing the ball into the cup for his first birdie. A pin high tee shot at the par-3 15th hole helped Anirban to a birdie and three straight pars from there helped him past the bend in 33 strokes.
Anirban raised the tempo with birdies at the second and fourth holes, as he climbed up the leaderboard. He consolidated his position on the top deck with a spectacular eagle on the par-5 fifth hole. Anirban took just 32 strokes on his way to the clubhouse, signing on a blemishless 65. He made nearly 95% greens in regulation with a driving accuracy around 79%.
There were a flurry of 65s on Thursday, as the Playa Del Carmen in Mexico began yielding some low scores. Richy Werenski, Bud Cauley, Abraham Ancer, Emiliano Grillo and Adam Hadwin also reached the clubhouse with a 65 on their cards. Gary Woodland, Kevin Chappell and J T Poston joined the group a little later, with Sung Kang and Harold Varner III almost there at 6-under through 17 holes.
James Hahn, Keith Mitchell, Joaquin Niemann and Rickie Fowler also went in to grab some meat and soda with a handy 66 against their names.
Kuchar was in fine form too. He struck three birdies on his way out before putting the finishing touches on an impressive round. The American added four birdies in five holes from the second, as he moved one stroke clear from the field.