India’s Lahiri chases elusive success at The Players Championships

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Mumbai– Over the years, the Players Championship on the PGA Tour has turned out to be a very difficult outing for India’s Anirban Lahiri.

In five outings in which he played in the last seven years, Lahiri has missed the cut four times in the event with a total prize fund of nearly USD50 million which is considered as the fifth major by most professional golfers.

In 2019, he finished tied-74th while the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now with the 2022 edition set to be played at the TPC Sawgrass course at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, from March 10-13, Lahiri is hoping that his fortunes will turn this week and he will be able to achieve better results than in the previous years.

“The Players Championship is the fifth major at least among the players. For me personally, I haven’t had a lot of success. Definitely, I’ve struggled with a few holes, specific holes, which have not fit my shot shape, and I think that’s been the challenge for me here at Sawgrass. There are a few holes that I have to come up with a slightly different game plan, different strategy, which I did the last time and had a little bit of success,” Lahiri told the Indian media in a virtual interaction on Tuesday.

To come up with a better performance this year, Lahiri is hoping to concentrate on his iron play and short game to tackle the TPC Sawgrass course.

“This week I’m just focusing on getting my iron play and my short game sharp again. I think that’s what I need to complete the picture.

“Definitely working my way back into playing better golf and getting into some form. Definitely carrying some confidence off the tees and on the greens, and I’m just trying to translate that into the rest of the game,” said the 34-year-old Pune-born golfer who is currently settled at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Last week, Lahiri had finished tied-72 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Orlando.

A seven-time winner on the Asian Tour and two-time titlist at the European Tour, Lahiri is currently enjoying a full-exemption on the PGA Tour. Life on the PGA Tour has been challenging for Lahiri, a constant fight to survive in the Tour with full exemption.

Lahiri has struggled during the early part of the year before finally managing to pull things together towards the end.

But for this year, he does not want to wait till the end. He is hoping things will start taking a turn rather earlier.

Asked about his roadmap for the season, Lahiri said the plan was to do his best every week.

“The beauty about what we do (on the PGA Tour) is that you’re one week away from being a PGA TOUR winner. You’re one week away from being at Augusta. You’re one week away from having a two, three-year exemption.

“So really the road map boils down to what can I do to play better? What can I do to change the kind of scores I’m shooting. It’s not like a systematic investment plan where I’m going to five points a week for the next 20 weeks. It’s not like that in golf,” Lahiri said. (IANS)

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