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Lahiri struggles to 74; Rose blooms with 65 in US Open

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Lahiri struggles to 74; Rose blooms with 65 in US Open

Friday, 14 June 2019 | PTI | Pebble Beach

Lahiri struggles to 74; Rose blooms with 65 in US Open

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri carded a disappointing three-over 74 in the opening day and will need a strong second round to make the cut at the 119th US Open here.

Lahiri, who missed the cut twice in 2015 and 2016 editions, opened with two bogeys and a double bogey before managing 74 to lie Tied-98th after the first round.

In his fifth year on the PGA, Lahiri will now have to produce a hugely improved performance to make his first cut in three US Open appearances.

Five years after his first and only Major win at the 2013 US Open, Englishman Justin Rose, playing alongside Tiger Woods (71), shot six-under 65 to emerge as the leader.

His score equalled the best round at Pebble Beach, which belonged to Woods, who sank 65 in the first round in the 2000 edition, winning it by a record 15 shots.

Rose birdied on each of his last three holes for a one-shot lead as four others, including Rickie Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele and Aaron Wise, shot five-under 66 each to be Tied-second.

Rory McIlroy (68) was Tied 8th, while Tiger Woods had three birdies interjected by a double bogey in a four-hole run on front nine of the course, to be Tied 28th.

Brooks Koepka, who has won four Majors in 23 months, was four-under through first six holes.

He was still four-under through 12 – he bogeyed ninth and birdied 12th -  before dropping shots on 13th and 17th to finish at two-under 70 as he began his campaign for a three-in-row effort at the US Open, which has not been achieved since Willie Anderson in 1903-1905.

Phil Mickelson, still searching for an elusive US Open – he has six runner-up finishes - to complete the career Grand Slam, shot one-over 72, but did not feel he was out of it. He had only two birdies but also missed a 22-inch par putt.

After a nightmarish start, Lahiri stemmed the rot with a series of nine pars before running into another bogey on fourth, which was his 13th hole of the day.

He was now five-over, but he holed three birdies in a row to bring some respectability to his card. He hit his tee shot to a foot and a half on Par-3 fifth, then holed a 17 and a half footer for birdie on sixth and again nailed a tee shot to five feet on par-3 eighth.

He had clawed his way back to two-over, when he went into the left rough off the tee on ninth. He managed to get his third shot to under 13 feet, but failed to hole the par putt for a closing bogey that clearly left a bitter taste after the hard work.

When he started out, Lahiri missed two par putts of 11 and a half and 12 and a half feet on 10th and 11th to go two-over. Then he twice went into the intermediate on Par-3 12th and added to the woes by missing a six and a half footer for bogey and ended with a double bogey.

Over the next nine holes, he did not get very close except on first, where he had a birdie putt from under 10 feet.

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