Crans-sur-Sierre, Switzerland: India's Anirban Lahiri adjusted very well to cold and heavy rains as he shot a bogey-free 66 on the first day of the 2.1 million Euro Omega European Masters here Thursday.
Lahiri, who is ranked 217 in the world, carded five-under 66, the same as England's Robert Coles and Welsh player Rhys Davies.
Lahiri admitted he was lucky to start in the morning and he made good use of the weather conditions, which grew worse as the day progressed.
Lahiri, who is ranked 217 in the world, carded five-under 66, the same as England\'s Robert Coles and Welsh player Rhys Davies.
"The conditions were good early morning when we started but it just kept getting worse and worse," said Lahiri, who this year made the cut at The Open at Royal Lytham and finished tied 31st.
A good number of Indians are in the field.
Gaganjeet Bhullar, a teammate of Lahiri, when India won an Asian Games silver medal in 2006, shot 72 and Chiragh Kumar, runner-up at the 2011 Indian Open, carded 77.
Other Indians, who were still on course or were yet to start included SSP Chowrasia, Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Kapur and Digvijay Singh.
Despite the cold and heavy rains at the Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club, Lahiri, a two-time Asian Tour winner, showed that he could play in such adverse conditions.
"This is definitely the best round that I had since I started playing here. I've come into this event not in the best of form and state of mind before but this year it has been a lot different. I'm very focused and confident," said Lahiri, who has credited his Vipassna meditation for turning his performances around.
"It's scheduled for more rain tomorrow morning and I think I got lucky with the draw that I'm playing in the afternoon tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes."
Lahiri began this week's tournament, which is co-sanctioned between Asian and European Tours, on the tenth tee. He found four birdies on his outward nine and picked another one at the first to go five-under through 10 holes.
But he parred the rest and finished at 66. He birdied the 12th, 15th, 16th and 18th and then the first.
"I putted really well on the front-nine as I holed everything that I looked at. I did hit a lot of shots off here and there but I'm glad I scrambled well and I'm happy that I didn't drop a shot," said Lahiri.
The Omega European Masters, which is the first event in Europe to be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour since 2009.
Coles, a three-time winner on the Challenge Tour, turned in 33 with the aid of an eagle two at the seventh and then recorded three straight birdies from the 12th before conceding the outright lead with a bogey at 18.
Davies eagled the first and, after mixing two dropped shots with gains at the sixth and seventh, finished superbly with three birdies in his last five holes.