August 08, 2018: The Bellerive Country Club is dressed and ready to deliver a thrilling finale to the 2018 major season. The PGA Championship will move to a May date in 2019, slotting into the period between the Masters and the US Open. In its 100th edition, the course received a couple of bursts of rain, softening the greens and setting the stage for low scoring start.
Anirban Lahiri will look to make the most of his recent upturn in form to stamp his authority on a season that remains unfulfilled. The 31-year-old has enjoyed another strong season on the PGA TOUR. He has secured his card for 2019, ranked 82nd on the FedexCup rankings. But four top tens in 21 starts with 16 weekends isn’t going to make the cut for an ambitious golfer.
The Florida based golfer is aching for a win. Anirban hasn’t won since his victories in the Maybank Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open more than three years ago.
Though he has enjoyed four top ten finishes, Anirban sets himself a high standards and nothing but the best will satisfy the young man. He has worked hard recently, spending several days out of competition honing his game. After a great start to the season during the winter, Anirban turned cold as he took on a new kit sponsor in Callaway.
Anirban reached Missouri, fresh off a T6 finish in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. He has wasted no time acquainting himself with the course. “It looks like the weather has cleared up nicely,” said Anirban to Golfing Indian. “It will be interesting to see how the course might change over the next few days. Right now, it is quite soft with generous fairways and big greens.”
The Bellerive course plays to a par of 70 this week. The 7,329 yard course will demand accuracy off the tee, a controlled approach to the green and careful putting around the undulating greens.
“The course is on the longer side,” explained Anirban. “The mid-irons and driving will be important. If the greens speed up, pin positions could be the primary defensive strategy for the course.”
With the temperatures hovering the in mid to high 30s, the course could dry up pretty fast. That could leave the course playing to a different pace compared to the practice. It will be interesting to watch how the golfers adapt their plans in their quest for the Wanamaker trophy.