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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sports Shorts: Lahiri tied 7th after flying start, Woods 14th

Sports Shorts: Lahiri tied 7th after flying start, Woods 14th

August 03, 2018 12:21 IST

Anirban Lahiri

IMAGE: Anirban Lahiri of India. Photograph: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri shot a fine 5-under 65 to position himself in tied-7th place after the opening day of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, US.

Landing six birdies against one solitary bogey, Lahiri was three shots behind the leader and two-time WGC winner, Ian Poulter, whose 8-under 62 tied the record for lowest first-round score in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

 

India's other player in the field, Shubhankar Sharma shot 2-over 72 and was T-63rd in the 71-man field. Sharma had two birdies against four bogeys in his third WGC appearance.

Tiger Woods, T-6 at the Open last month, and an eight-time winner at Firestone, opened with a 66 to sit at T-14.

Woods beginning on No. 10, sank a 50-foot birdie putt from off the green at No. 18 to make the turn in 3-under 32. His only bogey of the day came at his last hole, No. 9.

Englishman Poulter produced his lowest round in eight years with eight birdies and no bogeys as favourable scoring conditions resulted in a lot of low scores. Poulter's 62 was his best since 2010 UBS Hong Kong Open, where he had a second-round 60 enroute to lifting the trophy.

Americans Kyle Stanley and Rickie Fowler were in a tie for second on seven under par after shooting opening 63s, while Spain's Jon Rahm, American Patrick Cantlay and South Korea's Si Woo Kim were then another stroke back on six under.

Lahiri and six others Rory Mcllroy, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Marc Leishman, Luke List and Kevin Na shot 65 each to be T-7.

The 65 was Lahiri's lowest round at Firestone and his lowest opening round this season. This is his third appearance in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational where he finished T-53 and T-33 in 2016 and 2015 respectively. He was T-5 after the opening round in 2016 following a 68.

Playing his ninth WGC, he has been T-28 three times for his best result.

Chasing his first win on the PGA Tour, Lahiri has had three top-10s this season -- at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in South Korea and Travellers Championship. 

Bhullar moves to 5th; Sandhu also makes cut at Fiji International

Indian golfer Gaganjeet Bhullar recovered from a shaky start to card three-under 69 for a share of the fifth spot at the midway stage of the Fiji International tournament.

Bhullar stands five-under overall. He is six shots behind the runaway leader Kiwi Ben Campbell, who shot 67 after his first round 66 to get to 11-under.

Of the four Indians in the field, Ajeetesh Sandhu (73-73) was the only other one to make the cut, while Shiv Kapur (80-72) and Chiragh Kumar (77-80) missed out.

Bhullar, on his maiden visit to Fiji, is enjoying some unexpected fan following. 'Bula' in Fiji means 'Hello' and it rhymes well with his surname.

The eight-time Asian Tour winner, smiled and said, "Every time I'm here (at the golf course), every third person is calling out my surname, 'Bula, Bula.' It's very good. I'm enjoying myself. My wife is here and we are enjoying ourselves, having a great time. It's a great place."

Campbell, whose sole professional win came earlier this year at the NZ PGA on Australasian Tour, shot 33-33 on either side of the turn and he may well have been a shot better but for his sole bogey on the 18th.

Right behind him is Australian Andrew Dodt (67-70) in sole second at seven-under 137, while two other Australians Terry Pilkadaris (70-68) and Jarryd Felton (67-71) are Tied-3rd at six-under 138. Bhullar and six others are Tied-5th at five-under 139.

"I had a shaky start to the round, I started with a bogey and then I had another bogey on No. 3. Three-under 69 is not a great round, but I think with 36 holes to go I'm in a good position," he said.

 

Russian Lysenko stripped of neutral athlete status

Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko has been provisionally suspended and stripped of his status as a neutral athlete following breach of anti-doping regulations, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Friday.

Russia was banned by the IAAF in 2015 following an independent World Anti-Doping Agency investigation into allegations, still denied by Moscow, of state-sponsored doping.

Some Russian athletes, however, were cleared to compete internationally by demonstrating to the IAAF that their training environment met the required anti-doping standards.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has charged and provisionally suspended Lysenko for the breaches.

"The decision... has been made as a result of Mr Lysenko's failure to provide whereabouts information as required under the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules and Regulations and to make himself available for out-of-competition testing by the AIU," the IAAF said in a statement.

Lysenko cannot compete at next week's European Athletics Championships in Berlin, the governing body added.

Matthysse hangs up gloves after loss to Pacquiao

Argentine boxer Lucas Matthysse announced his retirement from the ring on Thursday, almost three weeks after losing his WBA welterweight title to Filipino great Manny Pacquiao.

"Today I decided to hang up my gloves," the 35-year-old Matthysse said on Instagram. "Another stage of my life is here... Proud to have remained at the top level for 10 years where I fought the world's best boxers."

Known as La Maquina, or The Machine, Matthysse, who also held the interim WBC super lightweight title, bowed out with a career record of 39 wins (36 KO) and five losses.

He lost his WBA title to Pacquiao, 39, in Kuala Lumpur on July 15 after the fight was stopped in the seventh round. It was Pacquia's 11th world title in an incredible career that has made him a national hero in his native Philippines.