May 10, 2018: The PGA TOUR is home this week, hosting THE PLAYERS Championship at Sawgrass, the venue of its headquarters. Anirban Lahiri arrived there on Monday, needing to feel as much at home as possible, even as he looks to put his season back on the rails.
After a couple of top ten finishes, Anirban started the year at 66th in the world, but has since dropped to an even 100th on the Official World Golf Rankings.
The Players is an intensely competitive field, with each of the top 50 golfers in attendance this week. Widely acknowledged as the biggest event outside of the majors, TPC Sawgrass could be just the kind of stage needed to inspire a good performance by the 30 year old Indian.
Anirban hasn’t been a happy camper at the tournament, on his two previous visits to Ponte Vedra Beach. He missed the cut on his first appearance in 2015 and did not make the field in 2016.
He returned there in 2017 and looked set for a memorable week. He was even through 35 holes, just five off the pace at the front. In a bizarre run of events at the 18th tee, Anirban sank his ball in the water three times, before finally finding the bank.
Anirban could have made the weekend with a double bogey at the 18th, but a ten was far too much damage to save his card.
The memory should spur Anirban when he sets his eye on the course this week. The Florida resident is at his best under strife and that is exactly what he is dealing with at this stage of the season.
“I feel a lot of departments are working but my scoring hasn’t been as good as I would like it to be,” Lahiri added.
“That’s where I’m going to be focusing on my work over the next two days here, in and around the greens and working on getting the speed right on the greens and making sure I’m comfortable with some of the shots that you get around here.”
Anirban is currently 107th on the FedexCup standings, desperately in need of some good results to not only secure his livelihood on the PGA TOUR, but also to remind the world of his true class and pedigree.
Expect Anirban to grind his way back to where he belongs sooner than later. That journey towards restitution could begin this week at The Players Championship.