Anirban Lahiri had a fine beginning to his second Olympic Games campaign as he shot a three-under 68 to occupy the tied eighth spot with three others at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Tokyo on Thursday.
In contrast, teammate Udayan Mane occupied the last spot in the 60-player field following a 76.
Austria’s Sepp Straka was the surprise leader with a card of eight-under 63 – a shot ahead of Thailand’s Jazz Janewattanaond.
Starting by three-putting the first hole for a bogey, Lahiri birdied the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth holdes to take the turn at 33. Coming in, Lahiri again dropped a shot. On the 12th hole, he found a bunker and later missed the first putt. Again, like on the front nine, Lahiri made amends. He birded the 15th and the 16th holes to climb back into the top-10.
Mane, after three birdies against two bogeys on the front nine for a 35, had a nightmarish back nine. He three-putted the 12th, followed it up with double-bogeys on par-five 14th and on par-four 15th holes to slip further. Mane ended a frustrating round with a bogey.
Surprisingly, the four Americans – Xander Schauffele, Patrick Reed (both 68 and tied 12th), Colin Morikawa (69, tied 20th) and Justin Thomas (71, tied 41st) – failed to break into the top-10.
From the Olympian
“It was good. I think I started off a little dodgy the first few holes, couldn’t get my rhythm going early. But then I settled down nicely. I think I played pretty good. I probably feel like I could have taken some more chances, some
– Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri