"But birdies on 13 and 16 ensured he stayed well within reach of the early pacesetters in the year's third Major championship."
Hoylake (England), July 17 - Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, struggled to make headway after missing half the fairways with some wayward tee shots as he opened with a disappointing three-over-par 75 at The Open Championship on Thursday.

The current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader hit only 50 percent of fairways at Royal Liverpool as he failed to take advantage of near perfect conditions on the first day of the year's third Major championship. Lahiri traded three birdies against four bogeys and one double bogey to be tied 117th.

I struggled. Honestly, I was no where near where I should be with my game. It would have been nice if I could make a few more putts from inside 10 or 15 feet. It just didn't fall for me today, said the 27-year-old.

It was ideal conditions and I have no excuses. I played pretty poorly especially on holes where there were lots of opportunities.The last four holes are easier holes and coming in, I think I got a bit frustrated that I didn't make anything happen. It's a great learning experience.

After cutting short his honeymoon in Madagascar to prepare for the Open, Lahiri does not want to disappoint his fans back home and vowed to bounce back in Friday's second round.

Everyone is really excited. I had a great Open two years ago (where he finished tied 31st at Royal Lytham and St Annes) and everyone back home is cheering me on. Hopefully I can come out tomorrow and give them something to cheer about. I would like to play well for them, said Lahiri, who has posted one victory and three top-10s on the Asian Tour this season.

I have to play my best golf tomorrow. I know that. I missed a lot of shots to the right and didn't find enough fairways. The frustration got the better of me coming in and I've got to be careful with that, he said.

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat also overcame a mid-round wobble to shoot an opening round of even par 72

After starting his campaign at a sun-kissed Royal Liverpool with early birdies on three and five, the reigning Asian Tour No.1 stumbled with two double bogeys on seven and nine after hitting some poor chips.

But birdies on 13 and 16 ensured he stayed well within reach of the early pacesetters in the year's third Major championship.

I wasn't striking the ball well, struggling around the greens. Hit two bad chips and made two doubles on the front nine. But overall, I'm happy with the way I'm playing. It's difficult around the greens as you get tight lies. I've also been struggling with my chipping recently. I'll try to work it out after this, said the burly Thai.


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