Anirban Lahiri battles to a 77; Sergio Garcia shares the lead

The putter let Anirban down on a bruising day in the Sanderson Farms Championship. Garcia shares the lead with J.T. Poston and Cameron Davis

Anirban Lahiri during the second round of The Northern Trust

It was a day of torment for Anirban Lahiri. Right in the middle of a good run over the past few days, the putter melted away without notice. Starting the day with a fine eight footer for birdie on the second, there was no warning for what was to come. The Indian was left bleeding as he made the turn, with five bogeys on his card. Anirban did very well to stem the pain with some determined golf on the return stretch, but he finished the day with a 77.

Sergio Garcia, putting with his eyes closed, gained a share of the lead with J.T. Poston and Cameron Davis. The three men are at 14-under, one ahead of Brandt Snedeker and Kristoffer Ventura. Snedeker played alongside Anirban, scoring a 67. Denny McCarthy, Keegan Bradley, and Aaron Wise are a further shot back, T6 at 12 under.

“Obviously Sunday it’s always a little bit more difficult,” said Garcia, “but I’ve got to go out there and go through the same routine and just go with it, even if you stumble a little bit early on or something like that, just believe that what you’re doing is right, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”

Sergio Garcia

Australian Davis was impeccable on Saturday. He shot a 63 to climb atop the leaderboard, with Garcia making 66 and Poston taking a 69. Garcia hasn’t won since his triumphant run at the Masters in 2017 and has dropped out of the top 50 for the first time since 2011.

Lahiri is 3-under through 54 holes after conceding five strokes on Saturday. He made 6 of 14 fairways and 10 of 18 greens in regulation, but his achilles on the day turned out to be his putting.

On the par-5 third hole, Anirban had to work extra hard to reach the green, taking five strokes in the process. He made his first bogey of the day, after his effort for par from the fringe left him inches short.

The next hole must have hurt him even more. Anirban missed from four feet as he three putted his way to a bogey on the 612-yard par-5 fifth hole.

At the 482-yard par-4 sixth, Anirban got on the green in three and settled for another bogey.

But after conceding another bogey on the 8th, Anirban played with characteristic resolve to mitigate the stress on his card. Even though he was forced to concede strokes at the 12th and 13th, Anirban did well to par eight of his last ten holes to return home and prepare for a fresh assault on Sunday.