11 November 2018: Anirban Lahiri looked set to seize the moment early in the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic. The Indian has been in supreme form this week and as he drew level with Matt Kuchar with a birdie at the eighth, deep in the Indian night, there was the scent of an Indian dawn.
As it is, Anirban’s gold rush was undone by a couple of errant tee shots. He pushed to the right at both the 12th and 14th, a bogey at the first and a double at the second instance all but robbing the Indian of momentum and magic.
Meanwhile, Kuchar was unshakeable. Just as Lahiri, the American also flew into the mangroves at the 14th, but he managed to get up and down for a bogey. It was to be the only blemish on his card of 6-under 65. That gave him a four-stroke lead as he continues the quest to end a drought that has lasted more than four years.
“I can’t imagine doing better through 54 holes,” said Kuchar, who had shot 64-64 the first two rounds. “I did think about it today that it would be nice to get to 7-under to match my first two rounds. I’ve felt really, really good for three days.”
Anirban shot five birdies over the first eight holes, but could only add one more through the rest of his journey on Saturday. He hurt himself rather badly through the middle section of the back nine – bogeys at 12 & 16 and that double bogey on the 14th returning a 69 for the Indian.
At 13-under through 54 holes, Anirban is seven off Kuchar’s pace. But he is only three behind second-placed Whee Kim, who made 66. Richy Werenski and Danny Lee shot 67 to reach Sunday at 15-under 198.
Aaron Wise, J J Spaun and Cameron Champ are all locked at 14-under. There are a bunch of men keeping Anirban company – Brice Garnett, Jim Furyk, Emiliano Grillo, Abraham Ancer, Pat Perez, Adam Hadwin are all flocked together at T8.