La Quinta (US), Jan 22 (PTI) Anirban Lahiri got off to a fine start with a four-under 68 and was lying tied 15th after the first round of the American Express golf tournament.
The Indian opened with a bogey, but steadied himself to pick five birdies and finish with a solid round on a course that is more difficult of the two on which the PGA Tour tournament is being played.
Brandon Hagy, a late replacement for Jon Rahm in the field, carded a 64 highlighted by 10 birdies to take the lead. Korea's Byeong Hyun An got his new year off to a near perfect start by firing a seven-under 65 in the first round with seven birdies on the Nicklaus Tournament Course.
'I got off to a shaky start a with a couple of average shots. I just started the day and it was actually a good putt for par. It was a break that went over the lip so that was a bit weak like I've been feeling and against the run of play,' Lahiri said.
'I did hit a few iron shots that kind of finished right where I wanted to hit them. But I got it back later in the round. I've been partying really good but I haven't really had a lot of luck from long range so it was nice to see one of the really big ones go in,' he added.
Hagy made a string of three consecutive birdies on three occasions en route to his lowest score since posting his career-low of nine-under 63 at La Quinta Country Club in round two of last season's American Express. It fell a stroke shy of career-low, while Byeong Hun An came in with five missed cuts in seven starts.
Si Woo Kim was among the bunch of players at 66 while two other Koreans Sungjae Im and K H Lee registered 68s.
Making his first start in The American Express, Brooks Koepka posted an even-par 72 at Nicklaus Tournament course.
Tournament host Phil Mickelson was way behind at T-132 after a two-over 74 at Nicklaus Tournament course and last week's winner at the Sony Open Kevin Na opened with a three-over 75 at Stadium Course. PTI Cor APA APA