A bogey-double midway through the back nine spoiling his card, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri returned a three of 73 that put him tied for 78th after the PGA Championship opening round at Southern Hills.
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Rory McIlroy led the field with 5-under 65, his lowest first-round score at a major championship since the 2011 US Open, which he won. He was followed by Will Zalatoris and Tom Hoge, who delivered 66 each.
World No. 1 and FedExCup leader Scottie Scheffler opened with a 1 of 71, while 15-time major winner Tiger Woods winced in obvious pain as he circled in 74 and looked in danger of miss the cut at Southern Hills, where he won the PGA Championship in 2007.
Lahiri had a bogey to start the day on the 10 and made amends with a birdie on the 11. Ten pars followed and he was still level, although he missed putts within seven feet and three more from 10 to 11 feet. Still, scoring wasn’t easy, so pars were a consolation.
Then came the two holes, the fourth and the fifth, which were his 13th and 14th. In the rough right off the tee, he entered the bunker on the green with the second shot. Still, he came out well leaving himself just over five feet for par. He missed.
The very next, par-5 14th, he went from the fairway bunker to the right fairway to get to a green side bunker with his third shot. He missed the bunker shot and he was on the edge in five.
Two putts from there meant a seven, which saw his upcard move to 3-over but ensured no further damage.
In a week where Lahiri welcomed the arrival of her second child and enjoyed a nine-hole practice round with Woods on Wednesday, Lahiri’s 73 could easily have been tied or at worst 1-over. That left him with some work to do to get halfway there on his first big start in nearly three years.
Lahiri was eight strokes behind leader McIlroy (65), including the final major rounds of an eight under the Masters final, where he was second.
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