Oct 31: Anirban Lahiri battled the strong windy conditions at Port Royal to shoot one-under 70 and stay in the race at the Bermuda Championship after his second round in Southampton, Bermuda.
Lahiri, who shot 3-under 68 on the first day is now 4-under 138 and four shots behind co-leaders, Ryan Armour (64-70) and Wyndham Clark (66-68). Lahiri, who was T-26 overnight is now T-12 and can get closer to the leaders over the next two days.
Things however did not pan out well for Arjun Atwal, who had as many as seven birdies, but also dropped six bogeys in his 70 and he exited at the halfway stage at 3-over as the cut fell at 1-over.
Lahiri, who has had one Top-10 this season, said he was happy to remain in the hunt after a round in tough conditions. Playing with co-leader Clark, the Indian played steady with two birdies on fifth and 18th and he dropped a shot on 15th.
First-round leader Peter Malnati (63-74) managed just two birdies in round two after making nine in round one and slipped to Ted-6th, while former Open winner, Henrik Stenson, withdrew with a foot injury.
Lahiri said, “I’m quite happy with the way I played. It was tough, really tough. It’s been a while since we played in conditions like this, and it takes me back to The Open at St Andrews in 2015. Today the gusts were up but they kept the greens slow enough and it was borderline playable. It was a grind.”
The forecast is for similar conditions on the third day, but Lahiri is ready to keep grinding. “One of those days when you have to accept whatever you get. I generally played better today. I’ll be looking to hit a few more fairways over the weekend and probably make a few putts. I felt like I haven’t made many putts outside of five, six feet and missed a few inside that range as well. It’s one of those things which has not fallen into place but things are looking good and in the right direction. It’ll be a matter of having a few go in and getting on a roll to gain some momentum. Tomorrow is going to be a windy day again, so it’ll be interesting. I’m excited and looking forward to it and hopefully I can keep my head down and make a bunch of birdies.”
While the 2015 Asian Tour No. 1 Lahiri stayed in Top-12, yet another former Asian No. 1 Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat kept the Asian Tour flag flying high as he compiled a bogey free 5-under 66 and rose to Tied-sixth at 5-under 137.
The 31-year-old Kiradech playing some of his best golf was the only player to stay bogey free in high winds that went up to 56 kph. He made birdies on Hole Nos. 2, 5, 12, 13 and 14. He missed seven greens in regulation but scrambled to save par on each occasion to keep himself close to the leaders.
Kiradech said, “I think I rolled the ball quite well. It’s good to be back at the course, and the grass is really similar to Asia, feel like I go back home again. My swing is feeling much better. Everyone knows I’ve been struggling almost a year after I got injured at the Masters and I had a hard time coming back. But this might be a turning point and I can come back to playing real golf,” he said.