Yeoju (Korea): Anirban Lahiri was the only Indians in the field to return with a sub-par round on the opening day of the inaugural CJ Invitational on Thursday.
Lahiri, winner of the Panasonic Open (India) in April, shot 71 and was tied 23rd, while compatriots Himmat Rai and Sujjan Singh scored 77 each and will need low second rounds to make the cut. They were tied for 91st place.
Meanwhile, little-known Lee Min-chang upstaged tournament host KJ Choi to grab the first round lead with a six-under 66.
The 24-year-old Lee took full advantage of his straight driving game to hit nine birdies against a bogey and double bogey at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club, while Choi opened with a 67 for tied second place in the USD 750,000 event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korean Golf Tour.
Another young Korean Kim Do-hoon, a former Asian Games team gold medal winner, also returned a 67 while American star Anthony Kim stormed home in 31 for a 68 to lie two strokes off the pace with Australians Scott Hend and Adam Groom.
The 41-year-old Choi, an Asian Tour honorary member and eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, fired an early warning that he was ready to win his own event after sinking seven birdies against two bogeys.
It was an eventful day for Choi, the world`s number 14, as his round included a forgettable four-putt bogey at the seventh par five hole.
Anthony Kim, who has three wins in the US, turned on the style with his putter as he came home with five birdies after turning in 37.