Anirban Lahiri had a tough time on a windy day at the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour as he ended the birdie-less first round at three-over 73, in Florida. Lahiri had three bogeys, two of them on the last two holes. He was Tied-69th and left himself some work to do to ensure a stay for the weekend. It was the kind of a day when even par looked like a great score and Tiger Woods shot just that to be Tied-21st.
Swede Alex Noren, who came close to a PGA Tour title, when he lost in a play-off at Torrey Pines, fired a four-under 66 to be one shot clear of the field at Palm Beach Gardens.
PGA champion Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Morgan Hoffmann opened with 67 each. Thomas had a run of four straight birdies around the turn on a day when nine players broke par from the early part of the draw.
Lahiri missed a few birdie putts. He did well to keep his slate clean except for the bogey on sixth till all the way to the 17th tee. Then he went into the rough on 17th and came out with a bogey and on 18th he three-putted from just inside 12 feet and the three-over finish meant he would have to ensure a fine second round to make the cut.
Woods had three birdies, a bogey and a double. Ironically the double came on what is the easiest hole on the course, the Par-5 third.
Woods drove into a fairway bunker on the third and then laid up and put his third shot in a bunker. He barely got it out and then had a 13-footer for par. He missed that and then missed a three-foot bogey putt to finish with a double.
But he got a birdie on next and made pars the rest of the way for a 70. On his first nine, the front side of the course, he birdied 11th and 13th and bogeyed 16th when he went into the bunker.
This is Woods’ third PGA TOUR event since returning from a fourth back surgery. Woods was tied for 23rd at Torrey Pines and missed the cut at Riviera. He has never missed consecutive cuts over 36 holes in his PGA TOUR career, and that could be a challenge on Friday because he will play in the tougher afternoon conditions in the second round.