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



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