23 September 2019: Anirban Lahiri ended the week just as he began, with a 69. Once again, all of his gains came on the forward nine. Even though he made birdies on the way home, they were dissolved into a couple of late bogeys, forcing him to settle for a tie in 45th place. Sebastian Munoz won his maiden PGA TOUR title with a playoff victory over Sungjae Im in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Over the past few weeks, since he minted his PGA TOUR card for the 2019-20 season with an emphatic performance in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, Lahiri is itching for success. There are plenty of positives for him – his game seems to be in great shape. The irons seem to be putting him in the right spaces and he hasn’t been too flustered by anything on the greens recently.
Anirban made 20 birdies at the Country Club in Jackson this week, including six on Sunday. He was forcing his way up the order on Sunday, before consecutive bogeys at 16 & 17 cost him, dear, both in terms of momentum and points.
The first birdie of his round came on the 590-yard par-5 third. He reached the green in two before sliding just past the cup with his third from over 25 feet. He made amends immediately though, making a monstrous 28 footer on the fourth to collect his second birdie.
Once again, he reached the green in two on the 482-yard par-4 sixth hole, before he sank another brilliant putt, this one from 18-feet. Anirban kept raking in the birdies from far away, putting one in from 19-feet on the par-3 seventh hole
He suffered a momentary hiccup on the 421-yard par-4 ninth, reaching the green in two and needing two putts to move on. The tone seems to have changed there and Lahiri missed a birdie putt from six feet on the tenth, far shorter than the many he made earlier.
One of the things that Lahiri has stressed on in the recent past is about converting opportunities on the par-5 holes. He did just that at the 584-yard par-5 14th. Revitalised from the gain on 14, the 32-year-old Indian made a brilliant putt from 16 feet to go five-under for the day.
Just when it seemed like he had an opportunity to force his way inside the top twenty, Lahiri suffered back to back losses.
An untimely bogey on the par-4 16th derailed his ambitions for a higher finish when he two-putted after reaching the green in three. The 17th left him taking another dent when he missed a par putt from just four feet.
Lahiri can make the short drive home knowing that his game is in a good space and with a little more consistency, some good results seem within reach. The Indian is seeking to score his maiden PGA TOUR victory, just as the winner this week did in the Sanderson Farms Championship.