Can PGA Championships provide Anirban Lahiri the success he seeks in US?
Anirban Lahiri admittedly loves the Open and enjoys the Masters like no other Major. But it has been the PGA Championships that has brought him the best result. Lahiri, 30, finished a superb Tied-5th in 2015 in what was a superb year for him with two wins on European and Asian Tours at the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Hero Indian Open that catapulted him to Top-50 in the world and into the PGA Tour.
Since then Lahiri has grown into PGA Tour regular and many aver that he is capable of winning any time. This year alone, Lahiri was T-3 at the CIMB Classic, where he was four shots clear coming into Sunday, but failed to close. Then at the Memorial he had a stunning final round 65 to finish Tied-second, his best result on the PGA Tour.
Without a win since the Hero Indian Open in March 2015, Lahiri now craves for a Trophy and a breakthrough on the PGA Tour.
In the week, of the 99th PGA Championships at the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina with one of the toughest fields of the year with 97 of the top 100 world-ranked players here, Lahiri will face a stern test.
For Lahiri, this will only be the second Major this year after the Open, where he missed the cut in brutal weather conditions. But Lahiri, who has already locked his card for 2018 and is looking at a solid show in the FedExCup play-offs, will take heart from his 2015 showing at the PGA when he was Tied-5th, the best ever Major performance by an Indian. Jeev Milkha Singh had finished T-9th in 2008.
This will be Lahiri’s 13th Major, which will bring him closer to Jeev’s Indian record of 14 Major appearances. And the 30-year-old Indian, who is now finding himself totalling ‘at home’ on the PGA Tour, will be hoping for a big week, which many feel has been around the corner for sometime. He was T-3 at CIMB Classic and T-2 at the Memorial this year, so having proved that he ‘belongs’ in this company a maiden win is what he is now looking at. And what could be better than a Major.
One of the Top-100 players who will miss the event is Brandt Snedeker, who has withdrawn due to injury, giving the place to Chris Kirk of Georgia. Snedeker was ranked 36th this week.
One of the favourites this week will be Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who claimed his third victory of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season and the sixth worldwide since last October at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday in Akron, Ohio. Matsuyama shot a course record-tying 9-under 61 to push him to 16-under for the tournament. With the win, Matsuyama returned to the top of the FedExCup standings with only two events remaining before the Playoffs commence.
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