Olympics - Lahiri
India's Anirban Lahiri watches his drive from the first tee in first round of the men’s golf individual event at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe on Thursday. Image Credit: AFP

Anirban Lahiri, making his second straight Olympics appearance after Rio 2016, provided some cheer for India on the opening day of golf competition in Tokyo when he posted a solid first round score of four-under 67 for a share of eighth position. Udayan Mane, his compatriot, however struggled to a 76 to end the day in 60th position.

Aditi Ashok, the third Indian golfer in the fray, will be participating in the women’s event from August 4-7.

Lahiri, a PGA Tour cardholder, dropped an opening bogey before finding his stride with a run of four birdies over five holes to make the turn in 33. He sank two more birdies on the 15th and 16th holes against a second bogey at a weather-hit Kasumigaseki Country Club.

“It was good. I think I started off a little dodgy the first few holes, couldn’t get my rhythm going early. But then I settled down nicely. I think I played pretty good,” Lahiri was quoted by the International Golf Federation in a release on Thursday.


“I probably feel like I could have taken some more chances, some opportunities on the back nine I didn’t make as many birdies as I could have. But I’m playing well, so I have to build on this and as you can see already there’s a lot of opportunities if it keeps playing like this, soft, there’s not much rain today, then you have to go out there and just really be aggressive and make a lot of putts”, said Lahiri.

“I truly feel like a veteran now, because there’s pretty much nothing that I haven’t played that there is to play,” said Lahiri, who has been on the PGA Tour since 2016.

“So to that extent I felt surprisingly calm and relaxed and focused on what I needed to do. So really not that much different, which is a great sign for me because I want to be able to play with that attitude through the week and play my best.”

“I got a full 36 (holes) in, nine every day the four days leading up to the event, so I felt pretty comfortable on the golf course,” he said.

“Obviously the tournament set-up’s going to be a little different but I feel like it wasn’t as hard as they could make it. So to that extent it was pretty gettable today. I think in the lead up to the last few days, it’s been much more windy, today we barely had any wind, so a good day to go out and take advantage. The greens are beautiful, they’re perfect, they’re rolling great, golf course is immaculate. So, yeah, I mean, I’m satisfied, I would have liked to be a couple shots better, closer, but three more days to go,” Lahiri told the IGF.