Southport, England: Indian stars Anirban Lahiri and Shiv Kapur fired identical three-over-par 73s in the opening round of The Open on Thursday.
Lahiri, the 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, struggled with a cold putter while Kapur was disappointed to drop two shots in his closing three holes at Royal Birkdale.
Making his fifth appearance at The Open, Lahiri birdied the fifth hole but dropped six shots in eight holes in the middle of his round. He recovered with a birdie on 14 and holed a 25-footer eagle on the 17th hole before dropping another shot on the last.
“I got out of rhythm. I wasn’t hitting fairways and greens and when you don’t do that, you will struggle to put up a score. I should have only dropped at least two shots instead of six but I didn’t have the touch I needed on and off the greens,” said Lahiri.
“My putting really let me down. I left myself in good positions to get up-and-down but I wasn’t sharp. I think I had six misses from inside six feet. Happy I fought back a little bit but disappointed to bogey the last from a good position. I have to eliminate those bogeys.
“When you have a bad stretch like that, you have to put your head down and focus on the next hole. It is easier said than done but that is something knew coming into today. I’m happy I fought back into this position. I’ll come back tomorrow and fight,” said the Indian.
Kapur, who won his second Asian Tour title earlier this year, got off to a steady start before hitting a disappointing triple bogey on the par-three seventh hole.
“It was going well but I triple bogeyed the seventh and that derailed my round. Out here, you obviously need to avoid the big numbers. Holding the round together is a challenge here and I didn’t do that,” said Kapur.
Playing in his third The Open tournament, Kapur hopes to avoid the ‘big’ numbers as he aims to make the weekend rounds for the second time in his career.
“The margins are really small when you play in Major championships especially The Open. I felt like I played pretty well but I would have liked to be a couple of shots better. I played a lot of good golf. That’s the positive I will take and hopefully avoid the big numbers,” said Kapur.