La Altagracia (Dominican Republic), September 23
His confidence on a excessive after a tied-36th end within the season-opening Safeway Open, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri will look to proceed his momentum when he makes his debut on the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship beginning right here on Thursday.
The 33-year-old, who has been battling detached type within the final two years, loved his greatest end result on the PGA Tour in practically 18 months when he signed off tied 36th at Safeway Open two weeks in the past. His final greatest end was a T-30 on the Valspar Championship in March final 12 months.
“The game feels really good at the moment. Safeway was a good confidence booster as after the bad start, I was able to finish strong which felt great,” stated Lahiri.
Lahiri will likely be in acquainted firm when he tees off within the PGA TOUR event as countryman Arjun Atwal will likely be in the identical group for the opening two rounds.
Atwal, who performed 4 occasions when golf returned after the hiatus because of Covid-19, makes his first begin of the brand new season. They are grouped alongside David Hearn.
There is extra Indian connection as the sphere additionally consists of two-time PGA Tour winner, the Indo-Swede Daniel Chopra, an amazing pal of each Lahiri and Atwal. Also within the area is Indian origin Akshay Bhatia. The 18-year-old born and introduced up within the US is mentored by Phil Mickelson.
Lahiri and Atwal go off collectively at 11.30 am on first day, whereas Daniel Chopra performs with Johnson Wagner and Seamus Power in one of many earliest teams at 6.50 am, and Akshay Bhatia performs with Ted Purdy and Joseph Bramlett at eight am.
Lahiri is coming into the event after a very good outing on the Safeway Open the place he opened with a lacklustre 74 however subsequently added rounds of 65, 67 and 70 to make sure a strong begin to his sixth season on the PGA TOUR.
The second spherical 65 was his lowest rating since taking pictures the identical quantity throughout the second spherical of the John Deere Classic in July final 12 months.
Lahiri, a former two-time Presidents Cup International workforce member, spent his downtime at dwelling throughout golf’s shutdown as a result of coronavirus pandemic by dismantling his golf swing and rebuilding it from scratch with coach Vijay Divecha.
“I spent a lot of time during lockdown in India, where I went for Hero Indian Open (his last win came at the same event in 2015) but with it being cancelled and the lockdown happening I stayed on in India with the family,” stated Lahiri.
“I returned for just one event, Wyndham, in the previous season and then the Safeway. So, I rested and also worked during my downtime at home with my coach Vijay Divecha. We worked on various aspects, broke down everything and did a lot of work on swing and re-built it in a way.”
Lahiri, who’s making his first journey to the Corales Golf Club, which has six holes that run alongside the Caribbean Ocean, stated, “The golf course here reminds me of my days on the Asian Tour. Similar grasses and temperatures and conditions to what I played for years back home. Definitely a feeling of familiarity even though it’s my first time here.”
Atwal, India’s first winner on the PGA TOUR along with his success on the 2010 Wyndham Championship, can even look to start out the brand new season on a powerful be aware.
The 47-year-old featured in 12 tournaments on the TOUR final season, making the reduce in 5 occasions together with three of his final 4 begins.
“It felt good during that stretch and playing four times in seven weeks also gave me an idea of my strength, because during practise rounds, we mostly use carts. I am proud that I held up at 47,” stated Atwal with a attribute snicker.
“It will be great to play with Anirban. It is like playing at home and in a great atmosphere and the venue itself is superb. I am looking forward to this.”
The area has some acquainted Asian Tour names like Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Kurt Kitayama.
The highest ranked participant within the area Henrik Stenson at No. 43 and it additionally consists of the defending champion Graeme McDowell, who whereas profitable the 2019 version ended a five-year-long PGA Tour title drought, although he received in February this 12 months. He has missed seven cuts in his final 9 begins for the reason that Tour re-started in June.
One of probably the most keenly watched gamers will likely be Will Zalatoris, who in his first begin on PGA Tour since Wyndham 2018, completed T-9 on the US Open at Winged Foot. This Korn Ferry graduate is the one to observe for within the close to future. PTI