Paris: Anirban Lahiri got off to a brilliant start at the Alstom Open de France with a five-under 31 for the front nine and he was in sole lead, even though most of the field is yet to start.
Lahiri, one of the three Indians in the field, started with a birdie on first and then birdied the fifth and added a third one on par-3 eighth.
Then came the par-5 ninth, which he eagled to get to five-under and two ahead of Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and local man Victor Dubuisson, who shot 68 each. Jeev Milkha Singh struggled to a five-over 76 that included an eight on par-four eighth hole besides bogeys on13th and 18th. Shiv Kapur was even through seven holes with one birdie and one bogey.
Before the start, Lahiri had mentioned,"It was nice to have spent a few days at home. I am feeling recharged and refreshed and looking forward to this week." But the weather has been surprisingly hot, much like a Delhi summer. The course is in great shape and it has a beautiful stadium design with natural Grandstands.
He also added,"My game is feeling better and better surfaces this week should lead to a better week on the greens."
Play was suspended just moments before it was due to get under way at 0730 local time at the 2018 Ryder Cup venue, although the initial delay lasted just 30 minutes. However, only 42 minutes of play was possible before the threat of lightning again forced players off the course, this time causing a delay of two hours.
Germany's Martin Kaymer, who missed the cut in the defence of his US Open title at Chambers Bay, carded 69.