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Lahiri all set to open 2021 with start at Sony Open in Hawaii


Published on January 14, 2021

Anirban Lahiri is all set to tee off 2021 at the Waialae Country Club in Hawaii as he tees off at the PGA TOUR‘s Sony Open this week. Hawaii is not new for Lahiri, who has played the event three times before but with very modest results.

Lahiri arrives in Hawaii after a break at home in India following a series of decent results in the fall season, which included his first top-10 finish on the PGA Tour.

In recent months, Lahiri has done well on the Islands – he was tied-sixth at the Dominican Republic and T-11 in Bermuda. So Hawaii and Sony Open could bring in some more good news and results. The results at the end of 2020 meant an improvement in his rankings and that translated into at least three or four straight weeks of action.

Lahiri is excited about the Sony Open and said, “The schedule so far is looking good. At the moment, I should get into the first four (events) starting with Sony Open, then the American Express and then Torrey Pines, and hopefully (Waste Management Open) Phoenix. Phoenix might be touch and go, but I think it’s the same week as Saudi (European Tour) so I think I should get in.”

He added, “So yeah, I could actually continue playing but I think as of now, I’m planning on just playing the first four and let us see how it goes. I am feeling good with the game. And I would love to do well in Hawaii.”

The year 2020 was unlike none before in his life and it was the same. His form dipped and there were not enough tournaments, but the silver lining was that the status he had for 2020 was retained as per PGA Tour’s decision. “That was a big boost for many of us,” he said.

A truncated 2020 saw him miss four cuts in first six starts before the Tour was halted in the wake of a pandemic. Lahiri, who had come to India to play the Hero Indian Open in March 2020, was forced to stay on in India as flights out were stopped.

He laughs and says, ”It was tough for my golf, but not all that bad, because I got to spend a lot of time with my family,  which I normally don’t get. Also I managed to get a lot of time with my coach, Vijay Divecha and work on my game and that helped.”

Lahiri returned to US, but got only one more event before the 2019-20 season got over for him. Then came the Fall season and things turned for the better.

Starting with the Safeway Open he got in four starts and made cuts in all including T-6 in the Dominican Republic and T-11 in Bermuda. “Those and a couple of other results indicated the game was in a good place. Then came another trip to India.”

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI – OCTOBER 02: Anirban Lahiri of India plays his shot from the seventh tee during the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at The Country Club of Jackson on October 02, 2020 in Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

He added, “The (second) trip to India was good. I didn’t spend that much time with Vijay, but we kind of went over everything that we had done earlier and kind of consolidated, some of the work. Also, it was nice to play some tournaments Chandigarh and Jamshedpur (on the Indian Tour).”

Lahiri lost in the play-off at the Jeev International in Chandigarh and capitalised on an invite into the season-ending Indian Tour event in Jamshedpur to finish T-11. “The golf was good, but I also put on weight in India, eating all the yummy food.  It was generally a good time with family and friends,” he added.

So, when Lahiri came back to US just before the calendar turned for 2021,  he had to ‘rework’ a few things. “Since I’ve come back I’ve gotten back in the gym to get that weight off. So I was just trying to get back to my routine. Get in the gym; get on the range play some golf and get myself prepared and ready to go. So, so far so good. It was a nice Christmas and New Years with my family and then some of our friends, Indian friends will live in America. So it was good. I think the last month or so has been has been good for me both on and off the golf course. And, you know, hoping that 2021 is a good year for everyone really, and also for golf in general.”

Written by V. Krishnaswamy for asiantour.com

Swamy is one of India’s leading sports writers, who has covered over 20 Majors and 250 international golf tournaments. Follow him at @Swinging_Swamy.


Published on December 11, 2020

Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand got off to a commendable start after signing for a two-under-par 70 to sit in tied-ninth place at the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship on Thursday.

Jazz, the last man to enter the prestigious event, fired three birdies in his opening five holes and took sole lead with another birdie on 11th before dropping two shots on his way home to fall three shots back of leader Victor Perez of France at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Malaysia’s Gavin Green, 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, soared with an eagle on the second and traded three birdies against three bogeys en route to his 70. Like Jazz, the 26-year-old Green is also making his debut appearance in the DP World Tour Championship.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 10: Gavin Green of Malaysia lines up a putt on the first green during Day one of the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates on December 10, 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old Jazz, who entered the final event of the season at 133rd on the 2020 Race to Dubai, was one of four players to qualify for the season-ending tournament from their Official World Golf Ranking, where he sits in a current 79th place.

Jazz enjoyed his best finish on the European Tour this season with a third-place result at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open – which moved him to a high of 11th in the standings.

Green started his season with a tie for 15th at the South African Open and continued to impress in his next four events, where his third place finish at the Saudi International saw him reach a high of 11th in the 2020 Race to Dubai.

He has remained inside the top 50 of the standings for almost the entirety of the season, and while briefly slipping to 43rd, he moved back inside the top 40 following a third top 10 of the year at the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown. He enters the week at 42nd in the rankings.

Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura and South African Shaun Norris returned with matching 70s while American John Catlin and Justin Harding of South Africa signed for 75 and 77 respectively.

Ends.


Published on November 24, 2020

In-form John Catlin will head to Dubai this weekend for the final two events of the year on the European Tour, feeling recharged, ready to go and in search of the same kind of success he enjoyed in September.

The American won twice in the space of three weeks in September on the European Tour – first at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters in Spain then the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open – and after a long-break at home in California, he is all set for the Middle East.

BALLYMENA, NORTHERN IRELAND – SEPTEMBER 27: John Catlin of the United States poses with the trophy after winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort on September 27, 2020 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Next week is the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World, while the week after is the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – the prestigious season-ending event on the European Tour, for the top-50 players from the Race to Dubai Order of Merit.

Both events are being played at Jumeirah Golf Estates, with the Fire Course used for the former and the Earth Course for the latter.

“I just want to do it again. I am never really satisfied. I have set new goals and I am ready to strive and achieve those,” said Catlin, who turned 30 years old recently.

“To win two times in Europe in a three week stretch, I basically gave it everything. I had nothing left over in the tank.”

SOTOGRANDE, SPAIN – SEPTEMBER 06: John Catlin of The United States poses with the trophy following day four of the Estrella Damm N. A. Andalucia Masters golf tournament at Real Club Valderrama on September 06, 2020 in Sotogrande, Spain. (Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images)

Having been on the road for over three months, playing the European Tour’s ‘UK Swing’, Catlin headed home after the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in October and took the first three weeks off golf completely as he “was pretty exhausted”.

“I believe that is the longest I have gone when I have not touched a club at all, with that three and half weeks off.  I actually caddied for my coach’s daughter. That was kind of fun,” adds Catlin, who says his coach Noah Montgomerie has played a key role in his success.

“I had to make a few purchases: I bought myself a new phone, a new Mac book, some new headphones, updating everything. Get myself ready to go back on the road.

“I forced myself to take time off, which was nice. But the last three weeks I have been going at it every day. Gym, practice, the whole nine yards.”

Catlin is a four-time winner on the Asian Tour and two-time champion on the Asian Development Tour. He claimed three of those Asian Tour titles in 2018 – which he says wasn’t as taxing as his wins in September.

“The two wins [in Europe] just drained me, I was very tired, when you are in that circumstance and trying to win a tournament. It was a similar feeling after my Asian Tour wins but the nice thing about those were they were kind of spaced out. The win I had in China was in April, then I won Sarawak in July, and then Chinese Taipei in September.”

John Catlin winning his first Asian Tour title at the 2018 Asia-Pacific Classic in China.

He is currently ranked 27th on the Race to Dubai and is particularly excited to have earned a place in the elite field for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

“It is a goal you set at the start of the year, to be top-50. Having a chance to win that event is what you are working for and it’s kind of in the back of your mind. It is not easy to finish in that top-50,” says the American.

“I am looking forward to playing and seeing what I can do. I have proven to myself I can win on the European Tour. I am gonna prepare and give it everything I have got. I have never even been outside of the airport in Dubai. It is gonna be a new experience. I just want to have a chance on the back nine on Sunday. Same for the first one. If I can do that in both events I will consider it a great success.”

Ends.


Published on November 15, 2020

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond will be hoping to finish strongly in The Masters today after slipping back with a three-over-par 75 on Saturday.

The Thai star, who impressively made the cut with rounds of 69 and 71, is now at one-under-par 215 for the tournament – a fine performance for a young man making his maiden appearance at Augusta National.

World number one Dustin Johnson from the United States takes a four-stroke lead into the final round.

Jazz was undone by a poor start. He bogeyed the first and third and then doubled the fifth – where he pulled his second shot left of the green, chipped short and three-putted.

But he bravely gathered his composure of that, playing the remaining holes in one under with birdies on seven and 15, before dropping a shot on the last.

Jazz has been paired with American star Collin Morikawa, winner of this year’s US PGA Championship, in the final round. They tee off 9.34 pm Singapore time with Charles Howell III from the United States, on tee 10.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 14: Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand plays his shot from the 17th tee during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 14, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Johnson accelerated away with a bogey-free 65, his second of the week, to lead on 16-under.

The American, chasing a first Green Jacket, equaled The Masters’ record lowest score after 54 holes. He had an incredible start to his third round, thanks to an eagle on the second and birdies on three, four and seven.

South Korea’s Sungjae Im, Abraham Ancer of Mexico and Australia’s Cameron Smith are tied second on 12 under.

“I have been playing really well, I just need to get a few putts to drop,” said Johnson, who tied for second last year.

“It was a really good day, I have been swinging well all week. Even after getting off to a good start, I tried to stay patient and be aggressive when I could.

“There are so many really good players around the lead, I am going to have to go out and play well if I am going to win. I have to go out and execute.”

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 14: Dustin Johnson of the United States reacts after making a par putt on the 18th green during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 14, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

American Tiger Woods posted a second successive 72 that keeps him at five under for the tournament.

“I can’t win it from where I am but I can make birdies and sweep in for a top-10 finish,” he added. “I just need to make birdies – I haven’t made any this week.

“Today was a long day but I still had my chances.”

Ends.


Published on November 14, 2020

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond continued his strong start at The Masters on Friday by impressively moving to four-under-par for the tournament, before play was stopped for the day when he was on the seventh hole – his 16th, as he started on the 10th.

He sits just five shots behind clubhouse leaders Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas from the United States, as well as Mexican Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith from Australia.

They share the clubhouse lead on nine-under-par 135, as benign conditions saw the early starters enjoy low scores. World number one Johnson shot two-under-par 70, Ancer 67, Smith 68 and Thomas 69.

A total of 46 players will return to complete their second rounds at 8:30 pm Singapore time on Saturday after fading light curtailed Friday’s play – the backlog the result of a long delay on the opening day caused by bad weather.

Jazz, playing in his first Masters, shot a brilliant 69 on Thursday – he birdied four out of the last six holes, including the 18th – and moved to five under for the tournament at the turn on day two with birdies on 12 and 15.

He dropped a shot on the first and then carded par after par before play was stopped. He split the fairway with his tee shot on number seven.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 13: Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand plays his shot from the third tee during the second round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 13, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Jazz, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion following four brilliant victories last year, is in privileged company on four under as American Tiger Woods – the defending champion who is chasing his sixth Green Jacket – is also on that score.

Woods is halfway through his second round, level par for the day playing the 11th.

England’s Paul Casey, the first round leader after a 65, had one bogey and 10 pars in the 11 holes he managed to complete on Friday and will resume with a 10-foot birdie putt on the par-three 12th on Saturday.

Pre-Masters favourite Bryson DeChambeau from the United States erratic tournament continued as four birdies were offset by four bogeys and a triple-bogey seven at the third after he lost his ball.

It leaves the US Open champion one over with six to play and battling to make the cut, though the American will resume his round with a putt for an eagle at the par-five 13th.

Ends.


Published on November 13, 2020

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond made a dream start to his debut in The Masters on Thursday after shooting a three-under-par 69 at August National Golf Club.

The reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion was one over after bogeys on 11 and 12 but stormed home making four birdies on his final six holes – including one on the famous par-four 18th, where he hit his second to 10 feet.

The 24-year-old is four shots behind England’s Paul Casey – who holds the clubhouse lead with a 65, on a weather-hit opening day.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 12: Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand plays his shot off the second tee during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 12, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

“It’s very good, it’s my first round out here at Augusta. I just tried to get it all in. A little bit of a rain delay at the start. It’s still a really good round at Augusta,” said Jazz, who claimed four titles on the Asian Tour last year.

“They said the golf course plays a little different than April. Maybe it’s lucky for us first timers that we can be kind of eased into Augusta. It’s very fortunate for us. My birdie on 18 was pretty nice to cap it off.”

He had played the front nine in one under with a birdie on the second and magnificently handled the treacherous greens not making any three putts. He hit 12 of the 18 greens in regulation and 10 out of 14 fairways.

He added: “I think the golf course will play a bit different because it rained today, and I think the weather is going to turn out for us on the weekend, so we’ll see how much it changed. I’m looking forward to it.”

Two-time Asian Tour winner Justin Harding from South Africa was two-over for his round after 13 holes when played ended for the day.

Casey’s bogey-free round featured five birdies and an eagle.

He recorded his best major finish earlier this year when he tied for second at the US PGA Championship in August and enjoyed a stunning start at Augusta.

The 43-year-old birdied his opening hole, the par-four 10th, and was four under after seven and then took the lead with an eagle at the par-five second.

He hit a stunning approach to four feet and holed the putt to move to six under par, before adding another birdie at the par-three sixth.

“I know this golf course better than most, my first Masters was 2004. It’s a golf course I love to play,” said Casey.

“What I desperately want is people pouring through the gates to watch myself and others play golf, but until that happens I’ll make the most of it.”

Defending champion Tiger Woods from the United States started strongly with a 68, while his countryman and pre-tournament favourite Bryson DeChambeau battled back after early struggles to shoot 70.

“It was so different, not only the sight but the energy – there are no roars. But we are able to compete for a Green Jacket this week which earlier this year seemed improbable,” said the 44-year-old.

“I understand how to play this golf course. It’s a course that allows for experience.”

An electrical storm saw play suspended for three hours, so 45 of the 92 players did not complete their rounds.

American world number three Justin Thomas was five under after 10 holes, while world number one Dustin Johnson from the United States was three under after nine.


Published on November 12, 2020

South African Justin Harding tees off in The Masters today buoyed by a solid performance last week along with the inspirational memories of his joint 12th place finish last year at Augusta National.

“I played pretty solid in last week’s Houston Open but did not get too much going in and around the greens. I think it bodes well for this week,” said Harding, who finished in a tie for 38th on Sunday.

“I feel like I have a good idea where my swing is at. And I am just going to try and build on the good memories of last year. I am excited, it’s almost go time now.”

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 11: Justin Harding of South Africa talks with caddie Alan Burns on the second green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Last year marked the first time he had played in the US Masters but he felt he knew how to play the course having watching it so many times.

“You feel like you have played it 100 times as you have watched it on TV.  You kind of know how to play it. So it didn’t feel like last year I was overwhelmed. It was a matter of maintaining and controlling my emotions,” added Harding, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour.

“I played solid all four days. I didn’t quite take advantage of the par fives as much as I would have liked. I played the par threes pretty good. This year it might be a little different. No real round or year is the same.”

He shot rounds of 69, 69, 70 and 72 last year to finish eight under – five behind the champion Tiger Woods from the United States.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 13: Justin Harding of South Africa reacts on the 18th green during the third round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

He says: “I am thankful I had an opportunity to play well last year and enjoy the Masters experience. I can’t really expect to finish as high as I did again but if I put the pieces together and execute my game plan I have every chance to be there again come Sunday. It’s one of the golf courses that suits my game. It lends itself to a strong putter.”

Harding spent lockdown in London, where he is living with his girlfriend, before playing on the UK Swing of the European Tour.

“It has been pretty solid this year. It’s not been terrible, it’s not been fantastic. I have showed signs of being there and there about. I have been competing, I have had a couple of third place finishes. Felt like I could have got over the line in one or two of them but I haven’t quite put together a good enough Sunday. It’s just one of those things when it’s been a bit of a stop start season so it’s been a bit tricky to maintain form. I think that is kind of the case for a lot of the guys.”

The 34-year-old tees off today at 12.05 am Singapore Time with Japan’s Shugo Imahira and Canadian Nick Taylor.

He enjoyed an outstanding run over the last two years, winning the Bank BRI Indonesia Open and Royal Cup in Thailand back-to-back on the Asian Tour in 2018, before winning the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters last year for his maiden title on the European Tour.

He says: “In 2018 and 2019 it was one of those remarkable things when I couldn’t play bad. I went through an unbelievable stretch of form where I maintained it and consistently posted results. I would like to get back there and it feels like I am on the road to doing so. I have stabilized the golf swing and tried to hit a little less bad shots. I think that is the most important things about golf, minimizing the amount of bad shots you hit. It’s normally the guy who makes the least amount of bogeys that wins.”

Ends.


Published on November 11, 2020

Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, the reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion, will make his maiden appearance in the much-anticipated US Masters this week – fulfilling a life-long ambition to play in the revered Major.

“After winning the SMBC Singapore Open in 2019, I set my goal of getting into the world top-50 knowing that will get me into The Masters,” said the 24-year-old Jazz.

“I had it [the Masters] in my mind in 2019, it was a big bonus waiting for me at the end of my run.”

Jazz dominated the Asian Tour last year winning four times and will be hoping to sprinkle more of his stardust on the fairways of Augusta National Golf Club in the 84th staging of the US Masters.

He will also be aiming for a performance that rivals his debut in last year’s US PGA Championship – where he finished in a tie for 14th position. He flew the Asian Tour flag with distinction that week and was in a tie for second after three rounds behind the runaway leader and eventual champion Brooks Koepka of the United States.

“Playing against the bigger guys helps elevate yourself to being a better player,” added the Thai – who also won the Kolon Korea Open, BNI Indonesian Masters, and Thailand Masters in 2019 to match compatriot Thaworn Wiratchant’s record on Tour with the most number of wins in a single season.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 10: Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand plays a shot on the seventh hole as his caddie Pulit Thongtae looks on during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 10, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jazz has been paired in the first two rounds with Americans Brandt Snedeker and Charles Howell III and will tee off tomorrow at 8.11pm Singapore time (SGT).

South African Justin Harding, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, is also competing.

He made an outstanding first appearance in the prestigious event last year, ending in a tie for 12th place to secure his spot in The Masters 2020.

Defending champion Tiger Woods from the United States will play with 2019 Open winner Shane Lowry in the opening rounds.

They tee off on the 10th at 8.55pm SGT with US Amateur champion Andy Ogletree.

It was 19 months ago that Woods won his 15th major title, and first for 11 years, by claiming a fifth Green Jacket.

“I’m still getting chills just thinking about it,” he said. “[The] feelings, coming up 18 and knowing that all I have to do is just two putt that little 15-footer and to see my family there and my mom and my kids and all of the people that helped support me or were there for me in the tough times.”

Referring to the coronavirus pandemic that has delayed this year’s US Masters to November, he added: “It’s not how I wanted to retain the jacket for this long. Obviously this has been an unprecedented circumstance we’re all dealing with. We are all very fortunate to be able to compete.”

On Tuesday night Woods, now 44 years old, hosted the Champions Dinner and chose an impressive menu consisting of “The Augusta Roll” – sushi with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna and all the spices; prime steak and chicken fajitas; a dessert trio; and wine.

As a 21-year-old, Woods chose cheeseburgers, french fries, and milkshakes for his first Champions Dinner menu in 1998.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 14: (Sequence frame 5 of 12) Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after making his putt on the 18th green to win the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

American Bryson DeChambeau, the pre-tournament favourite after his brilliant US Open victory at Winged Foot, is out at 8.33 pm SGT alongside Spain’s Jon Rahm and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

Having added 40lbs in weight in 12 months, he is now the longest driver on the PGA Tour and is considering using a 48-inch driver this week.

The 27-year-old is averaging drives of 344 yards on the PGA Tour this year, but hit a shot 403 yards in the air in practice. He tested the 48-inch driver, which has the longest shaft permitted, on Monday and said results were “really promising”.

“I am not 100% sure if I will put it in play yet because of the unknown, it is so close to the Masters,” said the American.

“But if it is an improvement on every facet of launch conditions, then I don’t see why not?”

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – NOVEMBER 10: Bryson DeChambeau of the United States plays his shot from the third tee during a practice round prior to the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 10, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The tournament, which is usually held in April but has been delayed to November because of the coronavirus pandemic, features a field of 93 players.

They will start off the first and 10th tees on Thursday and Friday to ensure everyone can complete their rounds before darkness.

The criteria for making the cut has changed, with only the lowest 50 players and ties playing the final two rounds. Previously, anyone within 10 shots of the lead also made the cut.

Round 1 Tee Times


Published on November 2, 2020

Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Anirban Lahiri of India finished tied 11th at the Bermuda Championship on Sunday, five shots behind winner Brian Gay.

A final round 3-under 68, which included four birdies and a lone bogey at Port Royal Golf Course, ensured Kiradech his best result in a year with his 10-under 274 total while Lahiri maintained his resurgence in form with a closing 67 which moved him up to 31st position in the latest FedExCup rankings.

The 48-year-old Gay claimed his fifth PGA TOUR victory with a playoff win over Wyndham Clark as he ended a winless streak since 2013. Gay and Clark ended the week on 15-under 269.

SOUTHAMPTON, BERMUDA – NOVEMBER 01: Anirban Lahiri of India plays his shot from the tenth tee during the final round of the Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course on November 01, 2020 in Southampton, Bermuda. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Lahiri closed out his week with six birdies against two bogeys on a week where he ranked tied first for most birdies made during the tournament. It also maintained his solid start to the new 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season where he registered two top-40s and a tied sixth finish in three previous starts.

“Happy with the consistency this week. I made too many small errors on and around the greens that added up to hurt me enough. Disappointed not to finish in the top-10,” said the Indian star, who is featuring in his sixth straight PGA TOUR Season.

Starting the final round four off the pace, Lahiri started strongly with birdies on Hole Nos. 2, 4 and 7 but dropped a bogey on nine. He made par over the next five holes before closing with three birdies in his last four holes which included a second bogey of the round on Hole No. 16.

“I feel like the game is getting more rounded with every passing week. The biggest challenge and disappointment is not being able to play events and as of now, I’m not in to any of the remaining events on the Schedule (for this year). I may try to Monday qualify for Sea Island (the RSM Classic in three weeks’ time).”

Kiradech, who played alongside Lahiri in the final round,  started the final day three shots back but could not get his game firing on all cylinders to mount a challenge for a maiden PGA TOUR victory. He made birdies on the fourth and seventh holes but a bogey on nine pulled the brakes on his game. The Thai converted a two-feet birdie on 10 and ended his day with a 20-foot birdie conversion on the last.

“The putter was not hot enough to get the job done,” said Kiradech, whose best finish prior to this week was T8 at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in Korea last October.

Over at the Cyprus Open on the European Tour, India’s Shubhankar Sharma claimed his best result yet in 2020 with a tied-14th place finish at the Aphrodite Hills Resort. The 2018 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion closed with a second straight two-under-par 69 to finish 13-under-par 271, seven shots back from making the play-off.

Ends.


Published on October 29, 2020

Southampton, Bermuda, October 28: India’s Anirban Lahiri walks with a slight spring in his steps these days. Gone are the times when he would stare at the ground with shoulders slumped after concluding another round on the PGA TOUR.

Confidence is a vital ingredient in any athlete’s daily grind and the 33-year-old Lahiri is certainly enjoying a new sense of self-belief after enjoying a decent run with a first top-10 in nearly two years and a couple of top-40s in his first three starts to the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season.

Following a three-week break, Lahiri, who at his heights represented the International Team in the Presidents Cup in 2015 and 2017, tees it up at the Bermuda Championship this week where he is eager to make further improvements after enduring a difficult past two years which has seen him miss more cuts that he’d like to.

“I’m really excited … it’s been three good weeks. I got a lot of work done, took some time off, kind of reflected on the start and also looked at areas that I need to work on and get better at. I’m playing much better. For me, it’s all about staying in the process and keep moving in that direction,” said Lahiri.

The tenacious Indian, who is a former Asian Tour No. 1, finished T36 in the season-opening Safeway Open last month, T6 at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship and T37 at the Sanderson Farms Championship to currently lie in 51st position on the FedExCup points list. In those tournaments, he shot two average rounds, a 77 at Safeway and a 74 at Sanderson Farms, which he knows hurt his chances of higher finishes.

“It’s all about building that momentum going forward, build on that confidence and belief and snowball it into getting into contention more often, maybe this week, and try to work for a ‘W’. I have to think that way. That’s my attitude at the moment and that’s what I’m looking forward to. The game has been one bad round or mediocre round every event, and there’s been a lot of good golf and a lot of birdies and a lot of other positives as well,” said Lahiri.

While he continues to work regularly with long-time coach Vijay Divecha, Lahiri has spent time recently with short-game coach James Sieckmann to sharpen his tools as he seeks a career breakthrough on the PGA TOUR in what is his sixth season in the U.S.

Obviously spending extended time with my coach back in India (during the shutdown) made a huge difference and that’s beginning to show. I trust my game a lot more, hitting my game a lot better, I’m hitting my irons a lot better, which has basically always been my strength and not so much so in the last couple years. So getting back to basics,” said Lahiri, who holds 11 top-10s, including one runner-up finish, in 122 career starts on the the PGA TOUR.

Lahiri has an old score to settle at the Bermuda Championship which he shot rounds of 66 and 73 in the inaugural tournament last year but had to withdraw before the start of the third round due to injury. “I played well the few holes that I did play last year. Yeah, hoping to extend that to 72 and keep playing well. It’s unique. Obviously the biggest challenge here is the wind and I consider myself to be a pretty good wind player. I’ve had a lot of good results at windy venues and the grasses are tropical, so it’s a lot like what I’m used to playing, primarily Bermuda,” he said.

“It was unfortunate that I got hurt, but up until that point of time I felt really comfortable on the golf course. Hopefully I’ll feel the same way when I get started and I’m looking forward to it.”

He is also looking forward to seeing fans back on the golf course as the Bermuda Championship will become the first event on TOUR to allow fans back on site. “I think it’s a great sign. I think it’s a step forward. Bermuda as a country has done really well in managing and handling the virus. It will be great for us to have the galleries again and have that atmosphere that obviously they bring, the fans bring.”

As he isn’t in the field for next week’s Vivint Houston Open, Lahiir hopes to gain a backdoor entry by finishing in the top-10 in Bermuda, similar to what he did with his top-10 in Corales Puntacana which got him into the Sanderson Farms Championship. “There’s a lot to play for. I’m in a position where I’m not getting into a lot of events. This is going to be my fourth event of the year and may even be the last just looking at how many entries have come in for the remainder of the events. So I have to make the most of it,” said Lahiri.

“I have to try and get as many points up so when the season restarts, whenever I get my next opportunity, I’m not trying to run with a gun to my head. It’s very important for me to get off to that start, so it’s important for me to be focused at every event.

“I’m close, I’m definitely close. How close, I don’t know. Might be this week, might be two weeks from now. I think if I keep playing to my ability, to my potential, that I can push it further and further and higher and that’s how I want to look at it.”

Ends.