Lahiri scales new heights

Lahiri scales new heights
India’s Anirban Lahiri shot one of the best rounds of his fledgling PGA Tour career with a bogey free seven-under 65 to finish a brilliant second at the Memorial golf tournament, here.

After shooting one of his best rounds, Lahiri then waited for over three hours to see whether his clubhouse target of 10-under would hold out for one of the most stunning wins this season.
In the end, Lahiri finished tied-second, as Jason Dufner found a second wind on the back nine and won by three.

The 29-year-old Lahiri, who came into the week following a streak of three missed cuts and a ranking that was fast dropping, had the best card for the day as he rose from overnight tied 27 to finish at 10-under 272.

It was a score that stayed as the clubhouse target as the players grappled with a weather delay and a golf course that became demanding before the rain softened it late in the day.

Dufner, who had a record 36-hole score of 14-under before plummeting to five-over 77 on the third, turned in nine-under after three birdies and three bogeys on front nine.

Dufner steadied himself on the back stretch with birdies on 10th (which brought him level with Lahiri) and then moved ahead with further birdies on 12th, 15th and 18th to cruise to a three-shot lead over the Indian and Rickie Fowler, whose bogeys on 14th and 18th saw him drop down down from a challenging 12-under to 10-under.

The tied second finish was the best PGA Tour result for Lahiri, bettering his 2015 PGA Championship tied fifth finish and tied third 3 finish at 2016 CIMB Classic.

The result which was worth $765,600, his best ever in his career, also sealed his 2018 PGA Tour card. But Lahiri will probably miss out on the US Open as his finish will only move him from 90th in world ranking to 64-65th and top 60 are assured a berth in the year’s second Major.

He will however make significant gains in the President’s Cup standings and move up from 22nd to around 15th, as top 10 are assured of automatic berth and two more come through Captain’s pick.

On whether he had any thoughts of winning or coming close before the start of the final round, Lahiri laughed and said, “Last night at dinner, I was joking that I had to do a ‘Noren’ to have any chance.”

Lahiri is not playing the US Open Qualifying next week and will just see whether he gets into the Major any other way, else he will be back in action after two weeks at the Travellers’ Championship.

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