Anirban Lahiri. Filepic/ Getty Images
Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 18: Anirban Lahiri’s newborn son Avyaan ensured that his Dad kept the date with his first Major since 2019, by arriving earlier than scheduled. Lahiri became a father for the second time, when his wife, Ipsa delivered a baby boy on Monday and that gave Lahiri enough time to prepare for the PGA Championships beginning on Thursday.
“Family comes first,” said Lahiri. “I made a mental note that if Avyaan came any later than Tuesday morning, I would have withdrawn. The greatest moment until the last couple of days ago was when our daughter came into our lives (in 2019) and it trumps anything that I can accomplish on the golf course. I’m so glad I was there with my wife when my boy came.”
“Avyaan did arrive early … he was due this coming Sunday and it always looked like he was going to come early. Ipsa had gone to a doctor’s appointment on the Thursday of Wells Fargo Championship (two weeks ago) and the doctor told us he could arrive that weekend, and that was why I withdrew from Byron Nelson last week,” said Lahiri.
“I’m just glad he came early and I’m grateful he’s healthy, Ipsa is doing well and I’m now going to be able to make it in time to play the PGA. Everything seems to have worked out.”
Ipsa was originally due to deliver their son on May 22, which would have been the final round of the PGA Championship.
Lahiri will also have some quality and inspirational company as he tees up in the first round. He has been paired with KH Lee, who defended his AT&T Byron Nelson title on Sunday, and Tim Feenstra of the US and they will start their first round at 12.36 pm on Thursday. India is 10 and a half house ahead of Tulsa, so it will already be wee hours of Friday in India.
Lahiri is both relieved and excited he can tee up in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma as it will be his first since the 2019 S Open. It will be his 17th Major, as he extends his own record highest number of Major starts by an Indian male golfer.
In recent weeks, Lahiri has enjoyed a resurgence in form after making the slightest of tweaks to his irons by adding 3.5 grams of weight to the clubheads prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship in March, which is the PGA TOUR’s flagship tournament. He show stunning form where he led into the final round at TPC Sawgrass before finishing runner-up to Cameron Smith of Australia, earning a career high US$2.18 million.
Since then, he has finished T13, T66, T15 and T6 and risen to 47th place on the FedExCup points list and 12th on the International Team rankings to play in the Presidents Cup later this year. A return to the PGA Championship also brings back good memories as he posted a tied fifth finish in the 2015 edition at Whistling Straits, which remains as India’s best performance by a male golfer in a major championship.
“I feel like I’m playing well and going into a major with some good form behind me always helps. I’m really excited as it’s been a while since I’ve played in a major. Pebble Beach was a while ago and I didn’t really play my best then,” said Lahiri.
“I told my caddie (Tim Giuliano) to go ahead and scope out the golf course earlier in the week. I haven’t really practiced that much as we had a couple of false alarms last week and my mind was pre-occupied. However, I feel pretty fresh heading to Tulsa and I’ll have a full day’s opportunity to prepare. I’m looking forward to it,” added the Indian.