Olympics: Anirban Lahiri slips on weather-hit second day, lies 20th as stars move into top gear
Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri endured an erratic day at the course and was even-par after 16 holes in the Olympic Games second round which was suspended due to persistent thunderstorms over the east course of the Kasumigaseki Country Club here on Friday.
Lahiri, 4-under on first day, was one of the 16 golfers who were yet to finish their rounds and was tied 20th at the time of suspension of play. They will return on Saturday morning at 7.45 am and the third round will start after that. (Full Tokyo 2020 Coverage)
Lahiri bogeyed the second, but made up with a birdie on the sixth to turn in in even par.
On the back nine, he birdied the 10th but dropped a shot on the 13th.
He was at the 17th when play was suspended. Lahiri was lying T-20 after being Tied-8th at the end of the first round.
India's other player in the field Udayan Mane (69) shot 2-under 69 with the help of three birdies on the back nine after being 1-over for the front nine. He is Tied-57th.
"After the first round (77), things were better today. I was more comfortable and feeling good. Shooting 2-under when some top stars were scoring 2 or 3 over feels good and I am the lowest ranked player," Mane said.
"I am looking at getting a hot start in the third round and then let's see."
A good start could see him go up the ladder.
Storms had also affected the first round on Thursday, though all players were able to finish the 18 holes.
Xander Schauffele of the United States moved into the clubhouse lead at 11-under after picking birdies on his last three holes and had two eagles, one on the par-4 sixth and the other on the par-5 14th, to shoot 8-under 63.
Carlos Ortiz of Mexico is one shot back after rounds of 65-67 and he also eagled the par-4 sixth
Austrian Sepp Straka, who was leading after the first round, shot even-par on second day and was 8-under for 36 holes, placed Tied-3rd alongside Chilean Mito Perera (69-65), Swede Alex Noren (67-67) and Japan's hero Hideki Matsuyama.
Matsuyama was 6-under through 16 holes on the second day after being 2-under 69 on the first day.
Moving into contention was the Irish duo of Rory McIlroy (66) and Shane Lowry (65), who were four shots behind Schauffele.
Schauffele's grandparents from his mother's side still live in Japan and he has always been looking at the Olympics. Schauffele also made his professional debut in Japan.
His father, Stefan, a decathlete was invited to a training camp in Germany. On his way there at age 20, his car was struck by a drunk driver and he lost his left eye, among other injuries.
-A SOLID START ON DAY 1-
Playing in his second Olympics, Lahiri got off to a solid start, carding a 4-under 67 in the first round to be placed tied 8th at the weather-hit Tokyo Games golf competition at the Kasumigaseki Country Club here on Thursday.
The former Asian Tour No. 1 Lahiri had six birdies against two bogeys and shared the 8th spot with Paul Casey (Great Britain) Alex Noren (Sweden) and Sebastian Munoz (Mexico) at the end of the day.
The other Indian in fray, Mane, who made the field of 60 at a late stage, had a fine start at 2-under after eight holes. But he finished at 5-over 76 and was last on the leader-board.
Play was interrupted in between due to inclement weather when there was a threat of lightning.
Lahiri, coming off a third place finish in Barbasol Championships on the PGA Tour, was happy with the start and said, "It was good. I think I started off a little dodgy first few holes, couldn't get my rhythm going early. But then I settled down nicely and played pretty good.
"I probably feel like I could have taken some more chances, some opportunities on the back nine I didn't make as many birdies as I could have."
He managed good practice, too for four days leading up to the event,
"...I felt pretty comfortable on the golf course. Obviously the tournament setup's going to be a little different but I feel like it wasn't as hard as they could make it," he said.
"Today we barely had any wind, so a good day to go out and take advantage. The greens are beautiful, they're perfect, they're rolling great, and the golf course is immaculate.
"So, yeah, I mean, I'm satisfied, I would have liked to be a couple shots better, closer, but three more days to go."