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Golf | US PGA Tour

Anirban Lahiri © Gallo Images

Lahiri fires 61 to seize PGA Greenbrier lead

India's Anirban Lahiri fired a bogey-free nine-under par 61 on Friday to grab a share of the early second-round clubhouse lead with American Webb Simpson at the PGA Greenbrier Classic.

The 31-year-old world number 99 stood level with Simpson, the 2012 US Open champion, on 12-under 128 after 36 holes at the mountain resort course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

"It was nice. It was a perfect day to go out there and play. The greens were pure," Lahiri said. "Being out early, it was good to take advantage of the conditions.

"I'm just happy with the way I'm playing. I need to keep grinding. You can really be aggressive on the greens. If I keep myself in play I like the way the golf course sets up."

Lahiri, whose best major showing was fifth at the 2015 PGA Championship, was a runner-up at last year's Memorial tournament and is coming off two of his best finishes of the season the past two weeks, ninth at the Travelers Championship and 13th at the Quicken Loans National.

"I've been feeling good the last two weeks. I've seen the improvement on the golf course," Lahiri said. "More than anything else, I haven't dropped a shot (this week). I'm not thinking about that. The focus is just to put myself in the best position I can and that's a big positive for me."

Lahiri began on the back nine with three birdies in a row, the first from 15 feet, the second from 12 and the third from 19 feet at the par-5 12th. At 14 he blasted out of a fairway bunker to 14 feet and sank another long birdie putt.

Lahiri ran off another birdie treble starting at the second after dropping his approach inches from the cup. He sank an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-3 third and a 22-footer to birdie the fourth.

Closing with back-to-back birdies completed his run to the top, Lahiri sinking a 20-foot putt at the par-3 eighth and draining a 14-footer at nine.

Simpson, who carded a 61 on Thursday, fired a second-round 67.


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