Anirban Lahiri found himself in the middle of the pack that made the cut at this week’s PGA Championships when the second round ended officially on Saturday morning after the remaining 25 players completed their second.
Lahiri followed up his first round 72 with a 73 that gave him a total of three-over 145 and the tied 43rd place as Hideki Matsuyama (70-64) of Japan and Kevin Kisner (67-67), who spends a lot of time in Charlotte, shared the lead at eighth-under 134.
Lahiri will play his third round alongside the 2017 Long drive winner, Jason Kokrak, who is a local, and the 2009 US Open champion, Lucas Glover.
Play was suspended yesterday at 4:43 local time and resumed at 6:26 pm due to a dangerous weather situation causing a total delay of one hour and 43 minutes.
And play was suspended due to darkness at 8:11 p.m. with 25 players yet to complete their round. The 36-hole cut fell at five-over and 75 players from a field of 156 professionals made the cut.
Yesterday afternoon, Lahiri found gold on the last step of the Green Mile for the second day running and that brightened what was otherwise another disappointing day for him on the putting greens at Quail Hollow.
Most of his putts from inside 10 feet refused to drop on both days. With the course conditions softening after the rains, there were some terrific scores, as Hideki Matsuyama (64) and Francesco Molinari (64) set new course records. Matsuyama joined Kevin Kisner in lead at eight-under, while Jason Day (66) was six-under and Tied-3rd with Chris Stroud (68).
Molinari was tied fifth alongside Louis Oosthuizen (67) while Rickie Fowler (70), Justin Thomas (66) and Paul Casey (70) were tied at three-under in Tied-seventh place. For the second day running Lahiri made his recovery on
the back nine despite missed putts.
Lahiri felt, “I hit the ball even better than yesterday (the first round), but again I had a start where I missed a 3-4 footer for par and began with a bogey. I just didn’t make any putts once again. Other than the two birdies I made, remaining putts didn’t drop.”
Through the day, Lahiri missed five putts inside 10 feet, one of them inside four feet. He also missed two others between 10-12 feet and another one of 17 feet.
He added, “My hitting from tee to green was very good and it has been so of late, but I have not made much on the greens. I missed only three fairways in the second round and four in the first round. That should have got me better scores, because if you miss the green it is difficult to chip at times. I gave myself chances but missed a whole lot of putts.”
Lahiri started the second round at his overnight one-over but immediately dropped a shot on the first hole. He managed to hold pars on the next four, but then came a disastrous stretch with bogeys from seventh to ninth, the very segment that provided succour a day earlier while serving as his final three holes.
On seventh he went into the rough and missed regulation and on eighth he missed an eight-footer for par. On the ninth he missed from just inside 10 feet. At the turn he was four-over for the day and five-over for the tournament.
Still Lahiri managed to control his frustration and focus on the task at hand and banishing negativity from his mind has been part of his work with his coach Vijay Divecha.
With that Lahiri once again began damage control on back nine. He found his first birdie on 12th and then followed that up with five pars.
He said, “Walking off the 17th, I knew I was four-over and the cut was likely around that number. But I was not getting defensive. So, on the 18th I hit a good tee shot and I was in between clubs for the second and I picked the right club and got to eight feet to hole the putt.”