Indian Lahiri one-shot back of Quail Hollow leaders
By Andrew Both
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Anirban Lahiri, who felt he was overdue for a low score, shot a 66 to trail American co-leaders Steve Wheatcroft and Andrew Loupe by a stroke after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
On a cool and breezy day when defending champion Rory McIlroy battled for a 73, India's Lahiri enjoyed a flawless six-birdie performance on a damp Quail Hollow course on Thursday.
"Anytime you have a bogey-free card, it's fantastic," said Lahiri, who played in slightly tougher morning conditions. "I've played mediocre or average golf the last few months. I definitely feel like I should be competing more consistently."
"The stuff my coach and I worked on after the Masters, when I took a couple of weeks off, it's beginning to come together ... I feel like my game's gotten better every week."
Lahiri, ranked 55th in the world and playing in his first full season on the PGA Tour, is the top-ranked Indian and excited at the prospect of representing his country at the Aug. 5-21 Rio Olympics.
The Olympics is the last thing on the mind of Loupe and Wheatcroft, both non-winners on tour, who took different routes to carding a seven-under-par 65 in the afternoon.
Though Wheatcroft is the shorter hitter of the two, he had two eagles, holing out from 40 yards at the par-five fifth, and almost holing his second shot at the par-five 10th.
McIlroy could have used some similar magic. A day after celebrating his 27th birthday, he plunged to four over after playing the more difficult back nine first, but he improved on the inward half. Continued...