Akron (Ohio): Anirban Lahiri continued his fine revival over the weekend and finished tied 53rd at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational, where he fought off back spasm in the opening round.
Lahiri, who had great difficulty in finishing his first round on account of sudden back spasms and barely managed to finish it at seven over 77, fought back magnificently over the next three days. Lahiri who shot 72-67-71 over the next three days was seven-over for the first day and then even par for the next three, indicating how his hopes for a good finish were dashed by the opening round.
The 28-year-old Irishman Shane Lowry, still not a member of the PGA Tour, played bogey-free 66 on the final day to snatch the biggest win of his career. Lowry ended at 11-under 269 and two shots clear of Bubba Watson (66), with the overnight leaders, Justin Rose and Jim Furyk with 72 each, sharing third place.
Lahiri, winner of Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open, had two birdies and three bogeys in the final round for a card of 71. He finished at seven-over 287 and his 53rd place fetched him Euros 43,343. Lahiri birdied the second and the 18th and bogeyed the fourth, ninth and the 15th, but even more noticeably he missed a few small putts inside 10 feet and many more between 10 and 18 feet.
"My aim was to try and get a couple of good rounds over the weekend and salvage my overall score and better my position. To that extent I managed that, but the way I am playing I should have finished much higher, and the back spasms on first day cost me dearly," Lahiri said. "I also missed some small putts and lot in the range of
10-18 feet. I struggled while reading the greens all week.
They were quite tricky but hopefully as I keep telling myself that next time I come to this course, it will be much easier." Lahiri's next assignment is the PGA Championships, the season¿s fourth and final Major at Whistling Straits. Lahiri played the PGA for the first time last year and missed the cut.
This season, Lahiri has made the cut at Masters (Tied 49th) and the British Open (Tied 30th) but missed the cut at US Open. Lowry who produced some great golf and gutsy shots, took his second title as a pro and it also earned him membership on the PGA Tour. Lowry now has a three-year PGA Tour exemption and the opportunity to play full-time on either side of the Atlantic.
However, Lowry plans to plan to play on both PGA and European Tours. Jordan Spieth, the Masters and U.S. Open champion, also closed with a 66 and tied for 10th. It was his fifth straight Top-10 over a stretch during he has won four times. For Furyk it was his 10th Top-10 in 16 starts at Firestone and he was four clear after 36 holes but missed fairways over the weekend saw him give way and allow Lowry to grab the title.
Watson with his 66 and tied second placed gained good ahead of next week's PGA Championship. It was his second straight runner-up finish on the Tour. At Whistling Straits, in 2010, Watson lost to Martin Kaymer in a playoff.