Hend has upper hand on Lahiri #CIMBClassic

Thu 29 Oct 2015

Hend has upper hand on Lahiri #CIMBClassic

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Kuala Lumpur, October 29: Australian Scott Hend launched his bid to win the US$7 million CIMB Classic with an eight-birdie round giving him an opening five-under-par 67 on Thursday.
Long-hitting Hend ended the first day in a share of eighth place at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, five back of runaway leader Scott Piercy of the United States who equaled the West course’s low score of 62.
[pullquote align="left"]"I'm feeling tired, tired from the heat. Just try to rehydrate and rest up" - Scott Hend[/pullquote]
Ranked second on the Order of Merit, the 42-year-old Aussie trails Merit leader Anirban Lahiri of India by some US$621,000 on the rankings and knows only a win this week will give him a chance to upstage Lahiri and become the new Asian Tour number one.
Lahiri opened his campaign with a subdued 70 which left him in a share of 33rd place in the CIMB Classic, sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and Asian Tour.
“It’s a good start. You know, it was a little bit hot but it’s a good start. Three more days to go but the leader has gone at it pretty hard.  10 under is a nice round,” said Hend.
Hend, who won his seventh Asian Tour title two weeks ago at the Venetian Macao Open, finished strongly with two birdies over his closing three holes.  And he was delighted he managed to stay cool in tough conditions due to the heat and high humidity.
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
“Tomorrow is tomorrow, same thing and stick to the game plan. Scores will go low. I’m feeling tired, tired from the heat. Just try to rehydrate and rest up. Probably had up to two liters of water and a liter of Pocari out there,” he said.
World number 37 Lahiri was disappointed with his sluggish start, which included three birdies against one dropped shot. “I think I struggled all day. Never got on a run. Just came out in the morning and didn't start very well,” said the 28-year-old.
“The course is playing really gettable. You can see from the scoring that there's a lot of birdies to be made. The greens are a little softer than they are usually. So, obviously, I feel like I shot a couple over par, honestly, to how the course is playing today specifically with no wind.”
The only consolation Lahiri found was the fact that he also shot a 70 in the opening round at the Malaysian Open, which he won on this course in February.
“I've gotten through day one, I haven't put myself out of it, but I'm going to need to start making some birdies tomorrow,” he said.
Lahiri, who featured in his first Presidents Cup in Korea three weeks ago, was delighted to finish strongly with a close-range birdie on nine.
“A lot of my iron shots, I just didn't make very good swings and left myself 20, 25 feet. So it was nice to hit one in close and make a putt there,” he said.
Ends