India’s Anirban Lahiri continued his fine run as he opened the inaugural St Andrews Bay Championship with a superb 6-under 66 that gave him a share in the six-way lead, which also included compatriot Veer Ahlawat, on the first day in St Andrews, Scotland. Lahiri, who was second in Liv Series and then third last week at Newcastle, shared the lead with another Indian, Ahlawat, Chile’s Mito Pereira, Spain’s David Puig, South African Jaco Ahlers, and Andrew Dodt of Australia. The other Indians in the field had mixed luck. Viraj Madappa (67) was tied seventh, SSP Chawrasia and Gaganjeet Bhullar were tied 23rd after a 3-under 69 each, Rahil Gangjee, Rashid Khan and Ajeetesh Sandhu with 70 each were tied 34th and S Chikkarangappa (71) was tied 52nd.
Needing solid second rounds to make the cut were Khalin Joshi (tied 110th), Honey Baisoya and Jyoti Randhawa (tied 124th), Kartik Sharma (tied 136th) and Karandeep Kochhar (tied 144th).
Lahiri, who was third last week and second in the previous International Series event he played in Vietnam, enjoyed the mild conditions.
“There are some demanding tee shots, but you just have to grind it out and there are some opportunities that you can take advantage of and make some birdies,” said the Asian Tour’s number one in 2015.
Lahiri, who had seven birdies and one bogey, added, “I am really happy we got such nice weather, I wasn’t expecting it.
“I have played a lot of golf in windy conditions, I played in Europe as well, in fact I actually love playing in wind and especially when the conditions get tough. I like it when you have to grind it out.” Veer with three birdies in the first five holes after starting from the 10th, added two more on the third and the fourth, his 13th and 14th holes to go 5-under. A dropped shot on 15th was followed by birdies on closing holes eighth and ninth for a 6-under 66.
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