RED-HOT LAHIRI JOINT LEADER WITH 66 AS CRUSHERS CRUISE TO SECOND PLACE
Riding on his red-hot form, Anirban Lahiri picked up from where he left at Bedminster, shooting a 5-under par 66 round that took him to joint lead after the opening day of LIV Golf Chicago. It also steered Crushers GC to tied second place in the team standing.
The 36-year-old Indian had a tepid start with four pars, but playing in the company of his teammates Charles Howell II and Paul Casey, who were both fast off the blocks, he got it going after that and made six birdies in the next 10 holes. A solitary bogey on the 11th, when he missed his up-and-down after missing the green, was his only blemish.
Howell made three birdies in his first six holes, but could add only one more after that in a bogey-free 4-under 67. The Mayakoba champion was tied sixth, just one behind the leaders.
Captain Bryson DeChambeau, who set a LIV Golf record of 20 consecutive sub-par rounds that ended with the first round in Bedminster, was back hunting birdies. He made four in his 68, including a crucial one on his closing par-5 second which elevated the team to tied second place at 12-under.
Casey, who has recovered from a niggling toe injury, started in brilliant fashion with three birdies in his first four holes, but a double bogey on the third and a bogey on the 12th left him with an even-par round.
Lahiri almost spun back his second shot from 106 yards into the hole for an eagle on the par-4 seventh hole. When he completed the formality of tapping it in, he found himself in joint lead with Sergio Garcia. On the next hole, he moved ahead of the pack with a well-read putt from nearly 20 feet.
“It was a bit of a scrappy day actually, but it was nice. Paul and Chucky got off to great starts, and I was like, come on, I need to pull my socks up. I kind of steadied the ship four or five holes and played nicely after that. Could have played a little better coming in, and I guess that’s what I’ll have to do on the weekend,” said Lahiri, who is currently 15th in the individual points list with two second-place finishes this year in Adelaide and Bedminster.
“I’m just sticking to my processes, sticking to what I’ve been working hard on over the last couple of years. Not getting too bothered by the results. There’s been some good results, but the win has been elusive. I’m doing some good things obviously, because I’m playing good golf. That’s all that matters. Results will take care of themselves as long as I do the right thing.”
Crushers are currently fourth in the team standings, just three points ahead of the RangeGoats. They have finished second in the last two tournaments in Greenbrier and Bedminster, and are aiming to cement their place in the top-four ahead of the Team Championship in Miami.