Cricket

Masterful Lahiri impresses in first round, lies 18th on debut at Augusta Masters

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  • April 10th, 2015
  • 11:07:00 IST

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri produced a highly commendable first round on his Masters debut, carding a one-under 71 to be tied 18th alongside some of the biggest names here.

Lahiri, who had two birdies -- one on each side of the famed Augusta National Golf Club --, also had one bogey in his first appearance at the Masters.

Playing extremely steady through the day and riding a couple of favourable bounces, Lahiri also made some fine par saves during his round.

Anirban Lahiri of India watches a tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the Masters. Getty

Anirban Lahiri of India watches a tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the Masters. Getty

"I will take it (the score on first day), but now the first day is done and dusted and now I am focused on the second and hopefully the weekend from there on," said the 27-year-old Lahiri, who won two co-sanctioned events in a span of three weeks in February this year.

The top 50 and ties and all those within 10 shots of the leader make the cut for the weekend rounds. A total of 98 players set for the 79th edition and it included 20 first-timers, 19 past champions and seven amateurs.

Leading the field was Jordan Spieth, winner of the 2014 Hero World Challenge, who shot 64 and he was three shots ahead of Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose, Jason Day and four-time Major winner, Ernie Els, all of whom shot 67 each.

Tied with Lahiri at 18th were the likes of Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, legendary 65-year-old Tom Watson and other Major winners like Charl Schwartzel, Graeme McDowell and Keegan Bradley.

Tiger Woods shot one-over 73 and was tied 41st and Phil Mickelson was tied 12th with 70. Interestingly, Lahiri's 71 is the best round by an Indian at the Masters, equalling Jeev Milkha Singh's effort in 2008
and it was also the second best card from a first-timer on Thursday.

Lahiri began with a string of seven pars before finding his first Masters birdie on the eighth and he had a second birdie on the 16th and he dropped just one shot when he three-putted on the ninth.

Lahiri's 71 also equalled the best Masters round by an Indian achieved by Jeev Milkha Singh in 2008. Lahiri handled his starting nerves very well. He opened with a 280-yard drive to the edge of the fairway bunker but recovered well from there to get his par from six feet.

On the second, Lahiri survived a scare as he drove into the pine needles on the left and then went to the first cut on the right.

But from there he got to about 80 feet and two putted with the par putt being a tense nine-footer. Five more pars followed as he settled down.

"I started out well with a couple of saves. On the first I misjudged my second shot and on the second, it was a par-5 and I saved the par after going to the right. It was important, because if you bogey a par-5 and so early it can affect your momentum," he said.

His first birdie came when he had a fine drive on the eighth to 285 yards just to the left of the fairway bunker and from there his second shot landed 40 yards from the flag and his pitch got him to three feet for a great birdie.

PTI

Updated Date: April 10, 2015 11:07:00 IST

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