Lahiri 2nd, Muniyappa tied 3rd after strong opening round

Last Updated: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 18:16

Khon Kaen (Thailand): Gunning for his maiden
Asian Tour title, promising Indian Anirban Lahiri blasted a
sparkling six-under 66 to lie second -- one place ahead of
compatriot C Muniyappa -- after the opening round of the USD
300,000 King`s Cup golf tournament here today.

Chinese Taipei`s Chan Yih-shin made a spirited start with
a sparkling eight-under 64 to take the first round lead over
Lahiri at the Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club here.

Indian Open winner Muniyappa shares the third place with
unheralded Thai Somsak Khaopratoom and Lin Wen-hong of Chinese
Taipei after shooting 67 in the final tournament of the
season.

Struggling to retain his card for the next season, Gaurav
Ghei also got off to a good start, firing 68 to lie tied
sixth.

It was, however, Lahiri who shone the brightest among the
Indians.

The youngster sunk as many as seven birdies and was
particularly delighted to birdie the challenging 514-yard par
four ninth hole.

"They moved the tee box up by 50 yards as it`s into the
wind but the ninth hole is still the hardest on the course, so
it was good to score there. Finding the speed of the greens
here is tough but I managed to gauge the speed well and that
will be a huge factor this week," said Lahiri, who is
currently 27th on the rankings following four top-10s.

"I`m mentally more relaxed as I don`t need to fight to
keep my Tour card. There is no pressure on me to perform so
I`m just going out to have fun and hopefully things will fall
into place," he added.

Muniyappa, who broke through with a popular win at the
Hero Honda Indian Open in October, soared with a chip-in eagle
at the 15th hole.

"The eagle was the turning point. After four holes I was
two-under but after that I couldn`t hole the putts and then
chipped in on 15," he said.

Among other Indians in fray, Digvijay Singh was tied 16th
at two-under 70, one shot ahead of Harmeet Kahlon (tied 28th).

Firoz Ali`s even-par 72 had him tied 39th, while Manav
Jaini was one stroke behind at tied 50th.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 18:16

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