Vastavam web: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri had a disappointing opening start at the Safeway Open, as he hit a 1-over 73 to lie way down the order after the first round. On a rather cloudy day at the USD 6.4 million tournament, Lahiri had a birdie early on third, but suffered a lapse around the sixth and seventh holes. He three-putted the sixth and then bogeyed the seventh from inside six feet.
Despite getting a shot back on eighth, the Indian was not hitting close enough to give himself chances and when he did have 10-12 feet for makeable putts, Lahiri missed some of them. Meanwhile, rookie Sepp Straka, in his first-ever start on the PGA Tour, birdied the final three holes to post a bogey-free 9-under 63 and grab sole lead with another rookie Chase Wright carding 64 and veteran Phil Mickelson, who reeled off six straight birdies en route to a 7-under 65.
The 2016 and 2017 Safeway Open winner Brendan Steele opened with a 5-under 67 as seeks to emulate Steve Stricker, the last player on the PGA TOUR to win an event three consecutive years at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11. Interestingly, all the 21 PGA TOUR rookies are in the field and four of them are inside the top five after round one. Straka, a native of Austria, earned his rookie card to the PGA TOUR this season after finishing 40th on the 2018 Web.com Tour priority list. Wright, 29, also a rookie, played his last five holes in five-under par with a run that was birdie-par-eagle-birdie-birdie to post a bogey-free 8-under 64.