Anirban Lahiri starts with 71 as Korea’s Si Woo Kim takes lead at St Jude Champs

Athletics

The top-70 ranked golfers in Memphis will progress into next week’s BMW Championship, where the field will be further reduced to 30 players for the season-finale, TOUR Championship.

Shared News: August 12, 2022 6:05:25 pm
Lahiri, who is coming into the FedExCup Play-offs a week after a Top-10 finish, will need to do a lot of work to get into the weekend. (File)

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri carded a disappointing one-over 71 to lie tied 86th after the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship here. Lahiri, who is coming into the FedExCup Play-offs a week after a Top-10 finish, will need to do a lot of work to get into the weekend.

It was a great day for Asian challenger, Si Woo Kim, who holed out for an amazing eagle from 168 yards and shared the lead at 8-under 62 with American J.J. Spaun. Sahith Theegala, an American of Indian origin, is in third place at 7-under, while Sepp Straka, KH Lee, Tony Finau, and JT Poston are tied fourth at 6-under.

The 27-year-old Kim, who withdrew from the final round of the Wyndham Championship last weekend due to illness, was in sizzling form at TPC Southwind in Memphis where he capped his day by sinking an approach at the par-4 18th hole with an 8-iron. He had seven other birdies and a lone bogey.

Kim is hoping to become the fourth Korean golfer to win this season and the second successive following young compatriot, Joohyung “Tom” Kim’s victory at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday.

Lahiri hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation during his first round. Many of his approaches left him some distance from the pins and he also missed a couple of birdie chances from inside and around 10 feet. Starting from the 10th, Lahiri bogeyed the 12th but found his first birdie on the 395-yard par-4 15th hole. He hit his approach from 115 yards and set up a birdie. He bogeyed first and fifth and in between birdied third to finish at 1-over.

Kim changed his putting grip midway in the round and it worked as he powered home for an inward 28 to mark a career-low nine-hole score. It was also his first ever sub-par round at TPC Southwind in seven rounds.

Kim’s compatriots, KH Lee and ‘Tom’ Kim Joohyung also enjoyed fast starts with rounds of 64 and 66 respectively to be tied fourth and 18th respectively. Other Asian players in the FedExCup Playoffs, Korean Sungjae Im and Chinese Taipei’s CT Pan carded scores of 70 and 73 respectively, and were in danger of missing the cut.

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama withdrew from the tournament on Wednesday due to a neck injury. Tony Finau, who won the 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic back-to-back last month, is amongst those who carded 64s, while current FedExCup No. 1 and World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler returned a disappointing 71.

The top-70 ranked golfers in Memphis will progress into next week’s BMW Championship, where the field will be further reduced to 30 players for the season-finale, TOUR Championship.

The PGA TOUR’s ultimate prize, the FedExCup, will be awarded in Atlanta where the winner will also earn US$18 million.