Kuala Lumpur, 15 October, 2017: Anirban Lahiri consummated another good week in Malaysia with a convincing top 10 finish in the CIMB Classic. In his fifth outing at the TPC Kuala Lumpur, Lahiri notched up his second successive top ten finish at the event, following on T3 last season. The 68th ranked Indian shot 71 in the final round, to end the week at 13-under 275. SSP Chawrasia struggled to get a hold on the course, as he signed out with a 74 for a four over total of 292. As already reported, Pat Perez clinched a comfortable four stroke victory over Keegan Bradley to claim the title.
Despite admitting that a top ten finish was a good start to the 2018 season, Anirban acknowledged a sense of disappointment at not being able to contend for honours on a familiar course. It was a sign of his growing comfort on the PGA TOUR and rising expectations of his own performance on the circuit.
“I should have done better on the par-5s this week, but there are issues with my driving. We are already working on it with my coach (Vijay Divecha) and the cause has been identified,” said Anirban. “Another area has been my scores on the 16th through 18th holes. Ideally, you need to be five or six under on those holes, but as I have today, I have stayed even.”
Anirban managed to go five under on the par-5 holes (3, 5, 10 & 18) this week, which was way below his expected outcome on the 16 occasions he has played those holes this week.
His scores of 67-73-64-71 underlined the kind of inconsistency that has come to characterize his results in recent months. Anirban will be playing three more events through December before heading home for a break a few weeks on the practice range with Vijay.
Overall though, there are plenty of positives for Anirban as he departs for Korea to play in the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges next week. As we saw in the third round, Anirban is capable of a high standard of golf and he will look to call upon his A game before winding down into Christmas.
After Korea, Anirban will head back to North America to play the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in the first week of November, before hoping over to Mexico the following week.
Chawrasia finished 68th this week, but mustered enough money to stay inside the top four of the Asian Tour to secure a spot in the WGC HSBC Champions at the end of October.
“It has been a frustrating week,” admitted Chawrasia. “I have struggled off the tee and it is always difficult from there on the TPC Kuala Lumpur course. I also fell short with my normally reliable putting game, compounding my problems this week.
“I am looking forward to return home and work on a few things before going to China,” added Chawrasia. “I am planning to play in the Panasonic Open on home soil before another outing on my home course at the RCGC to wrap up the year.”
With plenty of prize money still on the table, Chawrasia could leap up the order of merit with a good set of results in China and India.