May 13, 2017: Anirban Lahiri reached the Players Championship seeking to vitalise his PGA TOUR season with a good finish. Unfortunately, the well-mannered Indian was confronted by one unwieldy hole that sank his hopes in the wet waters. Anirban was 8-over through the first two rounds at the TPC Sawgrass, including a sextuplet bogey on Friday. After struggling to a 75 on Thursday, Anirban was set for the weekend at even par through 17, but his misery at the 18th left him bruised in the heart. William McGirt and Louis Oosthuizen were the joint leaders at 6-under midway through their trek around this iconic course.
Anirban made five birdies in the second round, showing characteristic resilience as he worked his way back from an overnight score of three over par.
The 29 year old had taken a double bogey already at the 18th, during his foray in the first round. But what transpired earlier today was beyond belief.
Anirban courted pain and disappointment, sinking three balls into the water off the 18th tee. Eventually, he took just the four needed to play the hole, but the wet balls and the three penalties cost him dear.
At six over 150 through 36 holes, Anirban was four off the projected cut, lying in 122nd place at the time of this report. (0100am Saturday, Indian Standard Time).
Anirban’s day started on a positive note – as he flew to the par-5 second green in just two strokes. He two putted from just under 20 feet for a fluent birdie.
At the 467 yard fifth hole, Anirban sailed over 301 yards off the tee to set up his second birdie of the round.
Anirban added a third at the next hole as he regained all his lost shots from the opening round. He was looking in solid form at this stage, seemingly set to force his way into the weekend.
A birdie at the twelfth soothed any pain he may have suffered from the bogeys at the 8th and 14th holes. Anirban recovered to even overall through the 16th hole with another monstrous drive that took him 324 yards off the tee.
But his round unraveled without warning as he absorbed six strokes, even as he shot a forlorn glance at the 18th before playing his 7th shot from the tee box. Credit is due to Anirban for not letting the disappointment cause any further damage as he found the cup in four shots from there.
Overall though, the fierce pride and determination of the wonderful Indian golfer may have suffered a temporary dent. But knowing Anirban and his ability to fight a venomous, expect a strong fightback from the young man.