Lahiri leads European Masters
Anirban Lahiri (Getty Images)
Crans-Sur-Sierre - Unheralded Anirban Lahiri of India has carded an eight under par 63 on
Thursday to take a two-shot lead after the opening round of the European
Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre.
Ranked 178 in the world coming into
the prestigious EPGA event in the Swiss Alps, the 26-year-old from
Bangalore built his score around two eagles, including a 140-yard second
shot on the ninth that flew straight into the cup.
veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez - who set the course record of 61 on his
way to winning here in 2010 - and Englishmen Paul Casey and Tommy
Fleetwood are all two shots back.
"It's nice to come back here
with a bang as it was a tough pill to swallow last year missing the cut
in the manner I did, so I'm delighted," said Lahiri.
"I did not
get off to a great start today (Thursday) to be one over after four but
then you never really expect to then have two eagles, so I tried just to
build on the momentum of that."
Two-time Ryder Cup winner Thomas
Bjoern of Denmark is alone on five-under 66 after firing five birdies
during a solid bogey-free round that puts him in early contention
players, including Spanish veteran Jose Maria Olazabal, Scotland's
Stephen Gallagher and Thailand's Pariva Junhasavasdikul are a further
shot back on 67.
The day, however, belonged to Lahiri, who was
lying in fourth place after an opening-round 66 last year but got caught
out by a change in weather conditions on day two and ended up shooting
an 81 to miss the cut.
"Playing here last year was a new
experience for me as I went out in the second morning with about four
layers on and after three to four holes I was sweating like a pig," he
"The next thing I knew I had to peel off some clothes
but then the clouds rolled in and the wind got up and I started then
feeling like an icicle on the back nine.
"So that was a harsh
lesson to learn and hopefully I can make amends this week." added
Lahiri, who only qualified for his first major at the 2012 British Open,
where he not only made the cut but scored a hole-in-one during his
third round. Leading first round scores on Thursday at the EPGA European Masters (GBR or IRL unless noted, par-71):63
- Anirban Lahiri (IND)65
- Tommy Fleetwood, Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP), Paul Casey66
- Thomas Bjoern (DEN)67
- Richard Finch, Stephen Gallacher, Michael Hoey, Jose Maria Olazabal (ESP), Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA), Barry Henson (USA)68 -
Mark Tullo (CHI), Jaco Van Zyl (RSA
), Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND), Jeev Milkha Singh (IND), Brett Rumford (AUS), David Drysdale, Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Thomas Levet (FRA), Hao-tong LI (CHN), Eduardo De la Riva (ESP), Brooks Koepka (USA), Paul Lawrie, Alessandro Tadini (ITA), Victor Dubuisson (FRA), Gregory Havret (FRA), Maximilian Kieffer (GER)69
- Scott Barr (AUS), Marcus Fraser (AUS), Richard Sterne (RSA)
, Gregory Bourdy (FRA), Alejandro Canizares (ESP), Andrew Dodt (AUS), Keith Horne (RSA)
, Stephen Dodd, Jonathan Moore (USA), Robert Coles, Rikard Karlberg (SWE), Matthew Nixon, Darren Clarke, Francesco Molinari (ITA), Danny Willett, Scott Hend (AUS), Darren Fichardt (RSA)
, Soren Hansen (DEN)