August 13, 2021 1:02:02 pm
Returning to action after the Tokyo Olympics, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri rode on some excellent approaches and had a couple of big putts to lie three-under through 16 holes in a weather-hit opening day of the Wyndham Championship.
Starting off on the tenth for the last regular season event before the FedEx Cup Play-offs on the PGA Tour, Lahiri had five birdies against two bogeys when play was stopped due to darkness.
A storm halted play for 2 hours, 7 minutes, with 30 players unable to finish the opening round.
Lahiri still has two more holes to play on the morning of the second day at Sedgefield Country Club here.
Russell Henley shot eight-under 62 for the lead as Korea’s Sung Kang was among seven players at 64. The 34-year-old Kang fired his lowest round of the season with eight birdies and two bogeys on the card.
Lahiri holed a superb 19-footer for his birdie on the 11th, his second hole of the day, but gave away a shot on 13th after going into the right rough.
Back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 helped him get back to under par. On Par-3 16th, he got inside six feet and on Par-4 17th he hit his approach to two feet for a birdie.
A missed par putt from inside eight feet saw him drop a shot before he had back-to-back birdies yet again on fourth and fifth with two fine approaches inside three feet and seven feet. He has two Par-4s to play on eighth and ninth.
Henley birdied three of his final four holes for a two-stroke lead as Sung Kang, Ted Potter Jr., Chris Kirkand, Hudson Swofford, Scott Piercy and Michael Thompson shared second.
Adam Hadwin also was six-under, but had two holes left when darkness ended play.
Kang needs a win in this week’s final event of the Regular Season to qualify for the lucrative FedExCup Playoffs for a sixth straight year.
Countrymen KJ Choi, Sungjae Im and Si Woo Kim, winner of the Wyndham Championship in 2016 — all carded 66s to share 19th place.
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who like Kang also needs a win to qualify for the Playoffs and, more importantly, keep his PGA TOUR card, also shared the 19th spot.
He also needs a good result to be eligible for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals starting next week, which is another opportunity to keep his playing privileges on TOUR.
Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan, who won a bronze medal in the Olympic Games, shot a 68 for T61 position.
Aditi, Tvesa endure tough day in Scottish Open
Olympic-returned Indian golfer Aditi Ashok had a disappointing start at the Scottish Open as she carded a five-over 77 to lie T-129th after the opening round here.
Fellow Indian Tvesa Malik too had a rough start on the first day, shooting a one-over 73 to lie at the 79th spot.
Local favourite Michele Thomson started in style with a seven-under 65, her season-best, for the lead.
The Aberdeen player regrouped after a bogey on the first hole to card an eagle on No. 2 and went on to birdie seven of her final 11 holes of the tournament co-sanctioned by Ladies European and Ladies PGA Tours.
Ashok, who was swamped by interviews on her arrival into Scotland after a superb 4th place at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, will need a great second round to make the cut, while Tvesa too will hope to produce a better show.
Tvesa, who came close to winning the Gant Ladies Open, had three birdies against four bogeys, while Aditi had seven bogeys against two birdies.
Thompson, who is managed by former Open winner Paul Lawrie, is making only her 12th appearance in an LPGA Tour event since 2017. Her career-best finish is a tie for 48th at the 2018 ISPS Handa Australian Open.
Two-time LPGA Tour winner Jasmine Suwannapura joins 2020 Tokyo Olympian Anne van Dam and major champion Yuka Saso in a tie for second at five-under.
Suwannapura returned to the links and Scotland for the first time since her runner-up performance at the 2020 AIG Women’s Open at Royal Troon.
The 2020 Olympic bronze medallist Lydia Ko is T24 at two-under, while defending champion Stacy Lewis sits in a tie for 35th heading into the second round.
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