Lahiri was tied 46th as Padraig Harrington delighted the home crowds by moving into a share of the first round lead at Royal County Down Golf Club, courtesy of a four under par 67. While Lahiri hung on, his compatriots Jeev Milkha Singh (76) and Shiv Kapur (78) struggled way down in 112th and 137th place.

Rory McIlroy, whose charity is hosting the event, struggled to a nine over par 80. Lahiri said, "It was not easy out there, but hanging in in such conditions is what it is all about. It was a great test of golf."

Lahiri had two birdies including one at the start on first, and another on sixth. He also had four bogeys. Jeev had two birdies against seven bogeys, while Kapur started with a birdie and then had five bogeys and a double on front nine itself. He had another birdie on 12th and bogeys on 16th and 17th for a forgettable round of 78.

Harrington shot 67 for the lead. Harington, who won this event in 2007, enjoyed a spectacular finish to his opening round, recording five birdies in the space of six holes on the back nine to take the outright lead before being joined by Germany's Maximilian Kieffer late in the day.

"Those are ideal conditions for me out there. I love to play a tough links golf course, that's what I was brought up playing. That's what I specialize at. I'm not saying it's going to be easy the next three days, but certainly coming to a course like this is definitely suiting me," he said.

McIlroy said, "Actually, I felt like I put myself in good positions off the tee, and my iron play was caught in between trying to play two ways. I hit it really well on the range and was keeping the ball down.

"My poor iron play led to missed greens, which led to giving myself a lot of eight to 12-footers for pars and that led to missing all of them. It's disappointing, but I just need to pick myself back up and get out there tomorrow and try and shoot a good one.

Latest News from Sports News Desk