Anirban Lahiri fired his career-best round on the PGA, a stunning seven-under 63 to climb more than 90 places in the 2017 Travelers golf Championship here.
The 29-year-old Lahiri, who shot 73 in the first round improved by 10 shots and at four-under 136, he was Tied-17th, after being 108th at the end of the first round.
The lead stayed with Jordan Spieth, who scrambled to one-under 69 and watched as a windy afternoon kept anyone from overtaking him.
Spieth was one clear of Troy Merritt (65-68) and Patrick Reed (67-66) at Tied-2nd as wind gusts exceeded 20 mph.
As Rory McIlroy (73) just about managed to make the cut, fourth-ranked Jason Day (72-70) and two-time Travelers champion Bubba Watson (67-75) missed the cut, which fell at even par.
Lahiri’s 63 included five birdies and an eagle, which he holed from 32 feet. It was the best round of the day and also his best on PGA Tour.
Speaking of the difference between his first and second rounds, Lahiri said, “Well, I didn’t play any golf between Memorial and this week. I took two weeks off. I was out meditating. So I’ve been a little bit rusty. The body is kind of easing its way back in. So I think I’m going to get better as the week progresses. That’s what I had in my mind, and evidently so.”
On how meditation has been helping him, he added, “It does help, but that’s (golf) not what I do it for. I think it’s helped me be a better person. It’s definitely helped me get a lot of direction in my life. I have been known to get a little angry and a little frustrated, so it helps me with that as well.”
Lahiri went on, “I think yesterday (first round) I played really good as well. I know there were a couple of double bogies in there, I got a couple of bad breaks, but I just didn’t make anything outside of five feet. Today was similar starting out, and I made a long putt on, I think, 13 for eagle. I think that just got it going.
“It’s exactly the opposite of what happened yesterday, when I couldn’t sniff the hole, it was just missing from all sides. I was just trying to stay patient. I’ve been stroking it really well. So it was a matter of, you know, time before I saw one go in.”
Lahiri, who is known to practice Vipassana (meditation) went for 10 days to Massachusetts in Shelburne Falls, which is about 90 minutes from the course here in Cromwell.
He has been meditating for 13 years and this time, like three other occasions in the past he went off for 10 days with no phones, no TV and no talking or reading, just meditating.
“There is like complete silence for nine and a half days or so, and you’re meditating 10, 12 hours a day. It’s not just a walk in the park. You’re actually doing work, and working on improving yourself. It’s not something I do specifically for my golf, but it’s something that’s helped me. If you’re in a better place mentally overall, it will translate into everything.”