Golf: Anirban Lahiri got off to a solid start for the second week running as he carded a 4-under 68 in the opening round of the Farmers Insurance Open. He picked up seven birdies, including on all four Par-5s of the Torrey Pines North Course.
Lahiri is now lying T21, four shots off the lead. Lahiri’s playing partner, Alex Noren and former Masters winner, Patrick Reed, grabbed a share of the lead in the PGA TOUR event with 8-under 64 each. Scottie Scheffler is right behind them with 65, also on the North Course, while as many as a dozen players are tied at 6-under 66, including Korean veteran star KJ Choi. The majority of the day’s good scores in the 156-man field came on the North Course. Each player will play once each on the North and South Course before the 36-hole cut is made and the weekend rounds are played on the South Course.
Lahiri, who started on the 10th said, “I played decent today, actually got lucky a little bit. I hit my driver offline quite a bit. Luckily I played the Par-5s well as well and I found most of the fairways on them so that was good.”
“There were a few dropped shots. Couple of them I could have avoided but you know it’s one of those things where if you don’t hit a lot of fairways, then your short game has to be sharp. Overall, not a bad day and I was happy to finish with two birdies.”
Talking of his second round, Lahiri added, “Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be quite challenging and I playing on the South Course. So, yeah, I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully minimise the mistakes again and I will try and take advantage of some of the Par-5s.”
One of Asian golf’s biggest icons, veteran Choi turned back the clock with a bogey-free 66. He shared fourth place and was two behind co-leaders Reed and Noren.
Since turning 50 last May, Choi splits his time competing against the young guns on the PGA TOUR and the over-50s on PGA TOUR Champions. He has twice been runner-up here in 2014 and 2016 but missed the cut in his last three starts at Torrey Pines, which also hosts the U.S. Open in June.
Of the 15 players that shot 66-or-better, only Peter Malnati (66) and Ryan Palmer (66) did so on the South Course.