Sports

Lahiri creates chances but misses birdies, cards 70 in first round

By a Correspondent June 25 | Updated on June 25, 2021

Anirban Lahiri

That put him way down in Tied-76th place

Anirban Lahiri’s opening even par 70 at the 2021 Travelers Championship could actually have been a round as low as 66 but for some small putts inside eight feet that did not drop or slid by. That put him way down in Tied-76th place on a course that afforded a lot of low scores with lots of birdies to be made at TPC River Highlands.

Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira and Kramer Hickok each shot a PGA TOUR career-best 7-under 63 to share the first-round lead.

It was a mixed bag for Lahiri who did find 12 of the 18 greens in regulation and had birdie chances but there were at least four putts inside eight feet that did not drop and another two between eight and 12 feet.

Lahiri, who is in the midst of preparing to get to Japan for the Tokyo Olympics after making the grade last week, began with a flourish as he reached the green in two and rolled in a 36-foot putt for birdie. But on the very next hole he missed a 5-footer for par with a 3-putt bogey..

After a 10-foot miss for birdie on sixth, he got back to red numbers, when a superb 114 yard approach shot set him up for a birdie on seventh and he turned in one-under..

On the back nine he missed pars from six feet and 12 feet on 10th and 11th but got back birdies on 13th and 14th. A birdie on 15th got him to 2-under, but bogeys on 16th and 18th, where he missed putts from eight feet and four feet pushed him back to even par 70.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who held the world No. 1 ranking until Jon Rahm passed him last Sunday with his U.S. Open victory, stumbled at the start with a bogey on the second hole and then a double on No. 3. He managed to claw back and ended with a 70.

Two-time Travelers champion Phil Mickelson sank a 64-foot putt for birdie in his round of 69.

While Kodaira and Hickok are tied for lead 7-under, Talor Gooch is in third at 6 under and Henrik Norlander, Patrick Rodgers, Beau Hossler, Brice Garnett, and Maverick McNealy are tied for fourth at 5-under.

Published on June 25, 2021

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