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India's Anirban Lahiri must be ruing yet another disappointing finish after having worked hard for most part of the first round as he ended the day at one-under 70 at the Genesis Open golf tournament here. Lahiri, who was in the first group to tee off from the tenth in the opening round, had an eventful opening nine, on the backside of the Riviera, where he had four birdies and three bogeys to be one-under at the turn. Birdies on first and fifth put him at three-under with four holes to go. But back-to-back bogeys on seventh and eighth, missing putts inside four feet and three feet, pushed him back to one-under. Putting, which is never easy at the Riviera with one of the lowest conversion rates from Greens in regulation, was once again the cause of anguish. Weather forecast is not very good either with a monster storm and wind likely to happen. The morning was great for scoring after the fog lifted, but Lahiri, who had to endure a stoppage after just two holes, was unable to take full advantage as he missed a lot. Fading light in the evening meant 48 players were yet to complete their first round. At the top, Sam Saunders, the grandson of Arnold Palmer returned a clean card for a 7-under 64 and an early two-shot lead.
Young Saunders called it his best round and what's more, it came on the 50-year anniversary of Palmer defending his title at the Los Angeles Open. The event was then played at Rancho Municipal. Saunders was two clear of Dustin Johnson, who could become World No. 1 if he wins this week. Daniel Summerhays, Cameron Percy, J T Poston and Brett Stegmaier joined Johnson at 66, while veteran Phil Mickelson was among those at 67. Jordan Spieth was at 2-under and had a 50-foot birdie putt in sight on the 17th, while Jason Day was at even par through 16 holes while Hideki Matsuyama was one-under through 16 holes. Johnson, whose brother Austin was in the bag, also endured a bee sting in his round of 66. Playing his fifth straight event, Mickelson, 46, was eagle-birdie-birdie around the turn shoot 67.
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