Wednesday, July 28, 2021
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Small mistakes add up for Lahiri, shoots 75 in Players Championship

Small misses and mistakes by Anirban Lahiri added up to a three-over 75, which may result in him of missing the cut at The Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass course.

On a day, when there was only a mild wind in the afternoon, just about a third of the field broke par. There were fast starts but a lot of bad finishes took away that advantage.

Starting from 10th, Lahiri was two-under through eight hole with birdies on 11th and 16th, but a double on 18th, and the three bogeys on first, seventh and eighth spoilt the card.

Lahiri, playing at The Players only for the second time, missed the cut the first time in 2015. With the cut looking likely at even par or one-over, Lahiri will need a strong second round to get into the weekend.

William McGirt, who contended in the early stages of the 2017 Masters, shared the lead with Mackenzie Hughes, the Canadian rookie. Both shot 5-under 67 at The Players Stadium Course.

Adam Scott, who won The Players in 2004 and was off to a strong start on a steamy afternoon when he was 6-under and heading to the infamous par-3 17th with its island green.

He saw Masters champion Sergio Garcia hit a gap wedge that took one big hop, land just behind the cup and disappear for a hole-in-one. Then he himself hit saw the ball spin off the bank and into the water for a double bogey. He added another double bogey on 18th and ended with 70.

Among other top stars, Dustin Johnson opened with a 71, while Rory McIlroy had a double bogey on the 10th hole during his 73.

But Hughes was rock solid. Only twice did he have par putts longer than 3 feet, and he made them both.

McGirt played in morning and made a pair of eagles on the back nine to atone in his round of 67.

Among those at 68 was Jon Rahm, another first-timer at this lucrative event who had one of four bogey-free rounds on the steamy day in north Florida.

Defending champion Jason Day ran off two straight birdies after making the turn and was in the lead at 5 under. Day, who has not won since The Players last year, made three bogeys over his last four holes and had to settle for a 70.

Rickie Fowler, the 2015 champion also got off to a fast start until one really bad shot on his 15th hole at the par-4 seventh, where from the middle of the fairway, he found a cart path and deep pines and a double bogey during his 70.

Garcia three bogeys and a double bogey in his opening six holes and went out in 40, the first nine holes of competition he has played since winning the Masters a month ago. But the ace on the famous Island Green 17th repaired his round to 73.

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