Anirban Lahiri makes a steady start in Texas

San Antonio, 2 Apr: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri got off to a steady start at the Valero Texas Open as he brought home a card of one-under 71 to lie Tied-22nd at the TPC San Antonio’s Oaks Course here.
Lahiri birdied 14th, 17th and third holes and bogeyed the 15th and seventh.
Colombian Camilo Villegas moved into lead with a eight-under 64 which included nine birdies and a bogey, while Sung Kang, 33, is two shots back with Cameron Tringale at 66.
Lahiri, who has been on a disappointing run, was first out on Thursday.
“I think it was nice to get out early. I know it was really cold, but the wind hadn’t picked up, so I definitely got some really nice conditions,” he said.
“I’ve been here a few times. I know how hard this course can be. I think the key is basically to try and put yourself in the fairways as many times as possible and also leave yourself in the right positions on the greens.
“I was pretty solid inside five, six feet, which is also really important because you don’t get a lot of kick-ins, so you have to putt solid. I did hit a few loose shots coming in, felt like I could have closed a couple shots better.”
Lahiri said he has been putting in a lot of work in whatever time he has got in between events.
“I think it’s definitely been a lot of work in progress. I think the last month or so I’ve had to work very hard on regaining the level of ball-striking that I expect from myself.
“It was missing during the Florida Swing to a large extent. So last week I stayed home and kind of built on some of the good stuff that I’ve been doing, so it’s nice to actually see it translate on a day like this.”
Jordan Spieth, who seems to be finding his way back with four top-10 finishes in the last two months, is three shots behind with 67 alongside Seung-Yul Noh and Hideki Matsuyama.
Villegas, the winner of the TOUR Championship in 2008 and the 2014 Wyndham winner, has suffered injury and also lost his 22-month-old daughter last year. He has had two top-10 finishes this year.
Korea’s Kang used a putting tip from Pat Perez to fire his low round of the year with an impressive 66. Kang eagled Par-5 11th hole when he hit the green in two and made a 30-foot eagle. Kang birdied three of his last four.
It marked a strong opening day for the Korean contingent as Seung-yul Noh also returned his best round of 2021 with a 67 to share the fourth place, while KH Lee carded a 70 for T13.
Phil Mickelson had a 10 on the 18th hole as he took two penalty shots and ended with a 79, which was 15 behind the leader. (PTI)