Taipei: Anirban Lahiri turned in a card of one-under 71 to be at tied seventh place at the end of the first day of the USD 600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters here on Thursday.
Lahiri, winner of two Asian Tour titles, was five shots off the leader, Lien Chi-Wei of Chinese Taipei who shot a surprising six-under-par 66 in tough scoring conditions for the opening round lead.
Chiragh Kumar, runner-up at the Hero Indian open last year, had a decent outing with a round of 73 that placed him tied 22nd.
Lahiri turned in a card of one-under 71 to be at tied seventh place at the end of first day of the Taiwan Masters.
Other Indians -- Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won in Taipei two weeks ago, Himmat Rai and Ajeetesh Sandhu -- shot 75 each to be tied 53rd. Manav Jaini, who carded 76 to be at 82nd spot, needed a good second round to ensure he played on during the weekend.
Lahiri, currently 10th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit courtesy his one victory earlier this year, credited his battling spirit where he turned in 36 and returned with one birdie on the home stretch.
"I'm really happy with the way I played. It was tough and the wind was really strong. We played in a little bit of rain early in the round. Conditions are really tough. You got to grind the whole day. I scrambled well and made a lot of up-and-downs," said Lahiri.
"I didn't drop any shots on the back nine and that was the key for me. It was tough and the wind was really strong.
We played in a little bit of rain early in the round."
The Indian, who played in all four rounds in his British Open debut earlier this year, tipped his hat to the opening round leader, Lien.
"Every time we come to Taiwan, the local professionals really surprise us. It makes a huge difference if you know the local conditions and 66 is a brilliant round. Hats off to Lien," said Lahiri.
"I missed the cut last week and spent a lot of time practising. I put in a lot of work in my short game and I'm happy it held up. I'm going to continue working hard and make that department stronger.
"I played pretty consistently except for a few errand drives which cost me a little bit. I didn't play the par fives very well. I'd like to improve on that tomorrow. I made a great save on the tough par three 10th hole," he added.
Lien opened up a four-shot lead over Filipinos Angelo Que and Antonio Lascuna, Baek Seuk-hyun of Korea, Wang Shih-jui and Hsieh Chi-hsien at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club.
Chinese Taipei's Lin Wen-tang, a five-time Asian Tour winner, and Hsieh Chin-sheng, Lahiri, Australian Scott Hend, Kalle Samooja of Finland and Panuwat Muenlek of Thailand were among the 12 players who broke par with their efforts of 71.
Lien, who has been a professional golfer for 10 years with two local wins, rode on a hot putter as he made 26 putts including a 20-foot eagle putt on the par five sixth hole.
Que, a three-time Asian Tour winner, said he could have gone lower despite the challenging conditions as he found 14 greens in a round of three birdies and one bogey.