St Louis (Sakal Times): Shubhankar Sharma shot his first sub-par round at a Major as he compiled a one-under 69 after looking much better than that for a good part of the day in the first round of the 100th PGA Championship.
While Sharma, 21, playing his fourth Major of the year, had three birdies against two bogeys in his 69, his senior colleague, Anirban Lahiri shot even par 70, despite five birdies.
Lahiri had just two pars in his first nine, which was the back stretch of the Bellerive Country Club. In all he had five birdies and five bogeys. Four of the five birdies came in his first nine, while he had three bogeys on back nine and two on front nine. The long 38-foot putt for birdie on the ninth, his closing hole was a big consolation as he finished at even par 70.
Sharma was Tied-33rd and Lahiri was T-48th, alongside Tiger Woods (70). Woods, got off to a slow start with a bogey and double bogey on his first two holes, but he recovered to shoot a 70 and is tied for 48th.
Gary Woodland (64) and Rickie Fowler (65) looking for their first win in a major championship took a big first step in that direction on Thursday. Woodland and Fowler set the early pace.
“It feels great when you start with an under par round and overall I was happy with my play,” Sharma said.
On him being 2-under and finishing with a bogey, he added, “You are never happy finishing with a bogey, but a 69 did please me.”
On the year as a whole so far, he went on, “It is my first PGA and it has been a very, very special year. I played Masters in my first year and all the Majors.
“I just want to finish strong in the last Major of the year and I am happy with the start. I now need to build on that. Anything is possible on a course like this and the match is quite open.”
Lahiri had the consolation of long birdie putt on the last hole.
“That last putt (for a birdie) was something like 30-35 feet. I felt the golf course owed me some putts. I missed something like four putts inside sox feet and all up the hill, mainly because I couldn’t get it to the hole,” said Lahiri.