Indian golfing ace Anirban Lahiri registered his best start of the season with a five-under 65 that put him in tied-third place at the end of the first round at the Honda Classic here.
The 28-year-old Indian, who has been giving himself good starts, but none better than this one, has time and again faltered over the weekend.
Hoping to rectify that trend, Lahiri, who is due to play in Hero Indian Open after this event, finished superbly at Palm Beach Florida, which is his base in US and a home away from home.
Lahiri had a sedate start of sorts with two birdies but more importantly without any bogeys. His birdie on the second from nearly 24 feet seemed to set the trend, but he had only one more birdie on eighth on front nine.
On the eventful back nine, he missed a nine-footer for par but made up with a birdie on next. Back to back birdies on 15th and 16th, which was from 20 feet helped him move to four-under. On 17th he hit into the water and ended with a bogey, but a classy finish with a 25-foot eagle putt saw him sign off with a 65.
PGA Tour rookies, Cody Gribble and Wesley Bryan shot six-under 64 each to share the top spot, and Lahiri along with two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer was third.
Sergio Garcia and fellow Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who plays at Hero Indian Open next month, shot two-under 68 each to be tied-24th on a day when more than half of the field was at par or better.
This is Lahiri’s seventh start in the 2016-17 wrap-around season, and he has made the cut in five of the starts prior to this one. In each of his previous six PGA Tour starts, he has shot par or under, but his five-under 65 on Thursday was the best start of the season. He also began with under par rounds in Dubai and Malaysia.
Lahiri’s best in this 2016-17 season has been tied-third at the CIMB Classic, which was held in October 2016, but is counted towards 2017 PGA Tour season.
Kaymer chipped in from behind the 17th green for birdie and closed with a two-putt birdie from 40 feet for a 65. Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter were in a large group at 66.
Poulter is playing on a medical extension from a foot injury last year and has only six PGA Tour events left to try and retain full status.
Bryan, who is known for his trick-shot videos, is coming off his best tournament, a tie for fourth at Riviera in which he got within two shots of winner, Dustin Johnson in the third round. Gribble already has won this season at the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall while the top players were in Shanghai.