Lahiri targets maiden PGA title

Want to get into contention consistently, says Indian ace
Last Updated 24 January 2018, 10:44 IST

Enduring a two year title drought, India ace golfer Anirban Lahiri says he will look to get into contention more often this year to achieve his target of wining his first PGA Tour title.

"One of the targets which I've not achieved yet is to get my first win on the PGA TOUR. This is overdue and it is definitely something which is on top of the list," Lahiri, who will play his first PGA Tour tournament of 2018 at the Farmers Insurance Open this week, wrote in his blog.

"I've come close, but I have not been in contention often enough. It's been few and far in between. I haven't performed the way I usually do or know I can under those circumstances, which I would say comes down to not putting myself in contention enough.

"Vijay Divecha (coach) and I have spent some time discussing that and the goal in 2018 is to get into the last three or four groups on at least four, five or six Sundays in every 10 events. Then you can convert one," added the 2015 Hero India Open champion.

Lahiri, who also won the Maybank Malaysia Open in 2015, wants to put himself in different situations more often to keep his game from getting rusty.

"Regardless of which tour you're playing on, when you're in contention, there's only one way to win which is whatever you need to play to win in different circumstances," he said.

"You either have to play ultra-aggressively, play defensively or just play your usual golf if you've got a big lead. At the end of the day, you have to respond to the situation at hand and you've got to put yourself in different situations often enough.

"I've not done it enough, and that part of the game becomes rusty if you don't get into contention enough. It'll be a matter of time before I convert."

Lahiri had put himself in contention for his maiden PGA Tour title at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges last October after lying tied third on day 3 but he faltered at the final stretch on the final day to finish tied-5th.

"You're always learning when you're out competing against the best. I feel terrible with the way I finished in Korea. I was leading by one with six to play but I finished really weak," said Lahiri, whose career-best finish on the PGA Tour is a tied-2nd at the Memorial in 2017.

"That's something which I didn't enjoy. That's going to drive me to get back into that position and have a different outcome. It was nice to get in contention, with Leish (Marc Leishman) and JT (Justin Thomas) and all the big guns and vying to win.

"It was important to put myself in that position as I know I can be in that position in more weeks than not if I play to my capabilities," added the Bengaluru golfer, who recently bought a home at West Palm on PGA National in Florida.

(Published 24 January 2018, 10:40 IST)

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