Jackson, Mississippi, 02-10-2020

Anirban Lahiri makes a superb start with opening 66 at Sanderson Farms Championship, lies tied seventh, two off the lead

Anirban Lahiri seems to have continued from where he left off in the Dominican Republic last week as he shot a flawless opening round of six-under-66 at the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship to be placed tied seventh, two off the lead.

The 33-year-old Lahiri had posted a creditable tied sixth, his first top-10 on the tour in nearly two years, at last week’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.

Four players – Charley Hoffman, Kevin Chappell, Jimmy Walker and defending champion Sebastian Munoz – carded matching scores of eight-under-64 to share the round one lead.

“Obviously the confidence is up. I feel like I'm playing really well. I like this golf course. Last year was my first time here, and I really like the way it sets up. It reminds me a lot of the tracks I grew up playing in Asia. Conditions were great and I enjoyed myself out there,” said Lahiri, who finished tied 45th at the event last season.

Anirban, a two-time Presidents Cup participant, hit 15 greens in regulation and made birdies on the third, seventh, 10th, 12th, 14th and 15th. The Florida-based Lahiri’s sharp short-game paid him dividends as he chipped-in on the 12th and drained putts within a range of 11 to 24 feet on the seventh, 14th and 15th.

“I’m just trying to stick to my process and check the boxes and be happy with that. The results are coming right now. I'm swinging it good, feel like I've got a good grip on my putter, which you need this week. So yeah, I'm in a good place. I feel confident. I guess it's good to have that motivation to get to Vegas now, I guess, or maybe even better. So we'll see.

“I think the lockdown really helped to start. I was in India for five months. I left pretty much the Monday after Bay Hill to go play the Indian Open, and then we got locked in. They closed the borders down. So I was there for a long time. Spent about 40 days straight with my coach before I came back out here, and I got back to the basics, undid a lot of the bad habits that had crept into the game and just tried to clean up the game, clean up the mind and just prepare. So far so good,” said the former Asia No. 1 Lahiri.

Elsewhere at the European Tour’s Scottish Open, Shubhankar Sharma fired a one-under-70 to be tied 39th.

Source: PGA Tour

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