Wentworth (UK): Shiv Kapur and Anirban Lahiri fought back hard in the closing stages to finish their first round respectably as the Indians made a modest start to their campaign at the BMW PGA Championships.
Kapur was the only one under par at two-under with one more hole to play while Lahiri and Jeev Milkha Singh shot even par 72 and the fourth Indian in the field, SSP Chawrasia had also a bumpy back nine as he ended at one-over 73.
Kapur was tied 12th with one more hole to play, while Lahiri and Jeev were tied 30th and Chawrasia was tied 61st.
World No. 1 and defending champion Rory McIlroy shot one-under 71 with four birdies and three bogeys.
Sweden's Robert Karlsson (67) had two birdies in last three holes to take sole lead at five-under while evergreen Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jorge Campillo, Chris Wood and Korea's Y.E.Yang were tied second with rounds of four-under 68 each.
India's top ranked star, Lahiri closed with a hat-trick of birdies, while Kapur fought his way back from a disastrous triple bogey on the back nine. After being two-under through 12, Kapur's triple on 13th was a big setback. But the 32-year-old, still looking for his maiden European Tour title birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th for a brilliant fight back.
Lahiri closed with a three-birdie burst to get back to par at the end of the first round after being three-over after 13 holes. Lahiri, playing in Europe for the first time this year, had a birdie on the third hole, but bogeys on fifth and seventh set him back. A double bogey on 13th saw him dip further to three-over, before he steadied the ship with two pars. Then came birdies on 16th, 17th and 18th brought him back to par.
"The finish will give me a lot of confidence going into the second round. I hit the ball pretty good, but need to get other parts of the game working better," said Lahiri.
"The front nine was average, but that double was a disappointment. But I did not give in as I knew a couple of birdies could change momentum again."
Speaking of conditions, Lahiri said, "Today was probably the easiest the course will play. There was warm and gentle breeze and the conditions were great for scoring, but then Wentworth is a tough and challenging course."
On his short game, Lahiri said, "It was difficult holing putts as the greens are a bit slow and very bumpy, mainly because of the Poa Annua grass that this course has. Personally, I am working hard on the short game and putting and hopefully I will see the results in the near future."
Jeev had an eagle on fourth, but bogeys on third and ninth meant he turned in even par and then he had two birdies and two bogeys on back nine for a 72.
Chawrasia, who has limited status on European Tour and needs a good finish here to get closer to a card next season, had birdies on fourth and eighth, but gave those shots away with a double on ninth. On the back he birdied 12th and 14th, but dropped shots on 10th, 13th and 15th for his 73. He will need a good second round to stay on for the weekend.