Anirban Lahiri. Pic: Getty Images/ PGA Tour
April 3: Anirban Lahiri had an eventful back nine with three birdies, three bogeys and an eagle in his last seven holes but still carded 3-under 69 to move into the Top-10 at the Valero Texas Open at the halfway stage. Lahiri at 4-under is now Tied-eighth at San Antonio, Texas.
Lahiri spent last week working on his game after skipping Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, where he was T6 last September. It seems to paying off.
Cameron Tringale carded 3-under 69 Friday and got into a two-shot lead after two rounds. Tringale was at 9-under and leads Jordan Spieth (70) and Englishman Matt Wallace (68). Spieth continued his comeback from a three-year winless slump and was at 7-under.
Starting off in the afternoon, Lahiri had one birdie in the front nine on Par-5 second and then parred nine holes before getting onto a roller coaster. He birdied 12th, bogeyed 13th and then holed a. 20-footer eagle putt on Par-5 14th before giving back a shot on 15th. He birdied 16 and 17. On the 18th, going for the green in two, he missed by a yard and went into water and then failed to hole a four-foot par putt to finish with a bogey.
Lahiri said, “This is one of the hardest golf courses that we play on. Yet, conditions, to be honest, were not tough as they can be but still quite tough.
“I like this golf course because lot of it has to do with your strategy and how you want to approach the golf course. You have to be clear in your understanding which holes you can attack, which flag you can attack and where you have to kind of be little more conservative. Even when you have to be conservative you still have to have an aggressive shot, so it’s a good week.”
He added, “It was really an eventful back nine coming in. I knew you know when I was doing my homework and I knew the wind. I knew that last three, four or five holes are going to be some birdie opportunities in this specific wind we have the eastern South East wind that kind of makes the last few holes little more gettable.”
On the couple of bogeys, he added, “I was actually quite disappointed with a couple of bogeys. One on 15, I had a good driver and it ended up in a divot and I hit my wedge in the bunker and then failed to get up-and-down. On 18 I was just one or two yards from having a 20-foot putt for eagle (but went into water). It is a high risk and high reward. The shot link showed 36 feet, but actually my chip came to four feet and I missed that for bogey.”
“I am happy to be making birdies and that’s always been my strength. I want to get back to that on this weekend,” concluded Lahiri, who has missed five cuts in last seven starts.
Among other Asian stars, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama came home in 74 to slip to T14 while Korea’s Sung Kang will enter the weekend on 142 after returning a 76, 10 shots worse than his opening round.
First-round leader Camilo Villegas shot a 76 to fall five shots back in a group that includes Matt Kuchar, who shot his second 70.