Samui (Thailand): Thai star Prayad Marksaeng snatched the first round lead with a six-under-par 65 from India`s Anirban Lahiri, who overcame an injured shoulder to finish second in the Queen`s Cup on Thursday with a solid five-under-par 66.
Lahiri, 23, who claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory two months ago, showed his new-found confidence at the challenging Santiburi Samui Country Club as he shot six birdies after an opening bogey.
Behind Lahiri`s 66 were Digvijay Singh (68) in tied seventh and Himmat Rai (69) at tied 12th in a field of total of 10 Indians.
However, things were not too good for former Asian Tour No.1 Jyoti Randhawa, who shot a 73, the same as Chiragh Kumar.
Gaurav Ghei and Mandeo Pathania who shot 74 each were tied 74th, while Manav Jaini (75) in tied 90th, Vikrant Chopra (77) and Sujjan Singh (83) looked certain to miss the cut.
The 45-year-old Prayad has two top-three finishes at Santiburi Samui Country Club and jointly led into last year`s final round before fading into sixth place.
Today he was rock solid on a windy day to shoot seven birdies against a bogey for a one-shot lead from Lahiri.
"I`m quite happy with how I played. Before this tournament, I was struggling with my right shoulder and pulled out of a tournament in India last week. I still got that niggle but I`m glad that I focused on my golf today and it was good," said Lahiri.
With his best friend Dakshya Kalia caddying for him, a relaxed Lahiri bounced back from his early blemish on the 10th hole with birdies on 13, 15 and 16. He birdied the first and then picked up shots on both the par fives on his homeward stretch.
After an impressive amateur career, Lahiri broke through on the Asian Tour with a stylish victory at the inaugural Panasonic Open (India). He said the breakthrough has pushed him to set new goals.
"It`s always good to start off on a fresh slate after my win. I`ve got new goals and new targets. I`ve had good and bad results here. I love the course and love the place. It`s not an easy track," said Lahiri, who was ninth here two years ago.
Prayad`s worry now is his broken driver. Prayad said the clubhead started to rattle during his warm-up and got worse through the round.
"I only brought one driver to Samui. I`ll need to get it fixed here or have one flown in from Bangkok overnight," he said.
Title holder Tetsuji Hiratsuka opened his campaign with a 73.