Anirban flies high in Travelers Championship

Anirban Lahiri put the disappointment of the first round behind him with a stellar effort on Friday in the Travelers Championship

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Anirban Lahiri - Getty - Players Championship

June 23, 2017: Anirban Lahiri produced an epic effort in the second round of the Travelers Championship to soar into orbit, after an insipid 73 left him grounded in Thursday. The 65th ranked golfer from Bengaluru fired an eagle at the par-5 13th hole to ignite his bag. He never looked back from there as he produced a rapid succession of birdies to gain 111 spots on the leaderboard. Jordan Spieth was leading the stakes, with a one stroke lead over a bunch of chasing golfers. (As at the time of this mid-round report)

Anirban played well in spots on Thursday, but a patchy effort overall saw him negate his three birdies with a pair of double bogeys and two other bogeys. Back from a Vipassana meditation to rejuvenate his mind, Anirban was left disappointed after the first round at the TPC River Highlands.

“Well, I didn’t play any golf between Memorial and this week. I took two weeks off. I was out meditating. So I’ve been a little bit rusty,” explained Anirban. “The body is kind of easing its way back in. So I think I’m going to get better as the week progresses. That’s what I had in my mind, and evidently so.”

The young Indian though shook the rust off very quickly. After lying T125 at the end of the first round, Anirban wasted no time to begin his climb back. Starting his second round on the tenth hole, Anirban made three straight pars to get off the blocks.

He caught fire from there, gaining four strokes in three holes, before adding another birdie at the 17th hole. That helped Anirban make the turn in just 30 strokes.

At the 13th, Anirban landed in the centre of the fairway before landing his approach about 30 feet from the flag. He sank a stunning putt from there to notch up an eagle to recover two of three shots he lost on Thursday.

Anirban sank a second birdie from 18 feet on the 14th green. A ten footer on the 15th and another from eight feet on the 17th set the tone for a brilliant round of golf by the Indian.

The man from Bengaluru made his fourth birdie of the round at the second hole. Anirban had an opportunity to add to his score at the third hole, but his putt stopped an agonising 2″ short of the pin.

Anirban got to seven under for the day and four under overall, with a fifth birdie of the round at the par-5 sixth hole. At the end of the second round Anirban was lying T14, just four strokes off the pace set by Jordan Spieth.

“Well, you get to the first tee, hit your tee shot, find your ball, hit it again, and try to make a putt if you have a chance,” said Anirban, of his strategy for the weekend. “That’s the way I want to just play my golf. I’m really happy out there. I’m enjoying my golf. I’m not really putting too much pressure on myself. A 63 doesn’t define me, neither does a 73. I just need to go and play.”

By Anand Datla

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