Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri holed a hat-trick of birdies from 14th to 16th to finish strongly in the first round of the Memorial Tournament here Thursday.
Lahiri shot five-under 67 which could easily have been better. He missed a seven footer on the 18th and earlier two others under 10 feet.
Ryan Moore closed with a seven-under 65 while Jordan Spieth finished one behind Moore with a 66. Spieth’s round included five birdies and a brilliant eagle on the par-5 fifth hole, where he drained a 35-foot putt for a three.
Lahiri, Australia’s Marc Leishman, Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Americans Vaughn Taylor and Bud Cauley shared the third spot.
The Indian, who was 2-under through the first nine, birdied 10th but bogeyed 12th and was still 2-under. Then, he birdied three in a row to go to five-under and rose up the leader board.
Lahiri was hitting his approach shots very well and gave himself a lot of chances. He converted many of them but also missed a few.
He had three birdies and one bogey as he turned in two-under and added one more on tenth. He bogeyed the 12th.
Lahiri has often called the Memorial as one of his favourite events, and it is played at Jack Nicklaus’ course. The Memorial is where he came tied-second in 2017, which has been his best on the PGA Tour. He was tied-37th last year.
Tiger Woods, starting from the back nine, was one under through 14 holes.
Lahiri birdied the second, fifth, ninth and 11th and his dropped shot came on par-5 seventh, where he went to right rough and then to a green side bunker on his third. He did have a 10-footer for par but missed it. He then missed the green on Par-3 12th and failed to hole a 10-footer for par for par and fell to two-under.
Lahiri has slipped to beyond 250 in world rankings and his last win was in 2015 on the Asian and European Tour at the Hero Indian Open.