Anirban Lahiri overcomes early woes, makes cut in Florida

Anirban Lahiri staged a superb fight back to make the halfway cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a three-under 69 in the second round.

Lahiri, who was two-over for the first round, seemed to be in serious trouble with a double bogey start that put him in danger of a missing the cut but managed to get to one-under for the tournament.   -  Getty Images

Anirban Lahiri staged a superb fight back to make the halfway cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a three-under 69 in the second round, here.

Lahiri, who was two-over for the first round, seemed to be in serious trouble with a double bogey start that put him in danger of a missing the cut but managed to get to one-under for the tournament, which saw him improve 30 places from Tied-72nd to Tied-42nd.

Tommy Fleetwood, using new clubs, landed two eagles enroute to a 66 that put him at nine-under 135 and later Keegan Bradley made six birdies in his 68 to join him in a share of the lead.

Fleetwood, a three-time winner on the European Tour, and 2017 No. 1 on Race of Dubai, is looking for his first win in United States.

Lahiri shrugged aside the botched-up start by showing tremendous accuracy off the tee thereafter. He birdied the third, but bogeyed the fourth where he hit into the fairway but then went into the rough off the second.

Putting all that behind, Lahiri did not put a foot wrong nor missed a putt. From four-over for the tournament at that stage, he birdied sixth holing a 27-footer for birdie. That changed his fortunes. He birdied from 22 feet on ninth for another birdie. He was back to two-over where he had started from for the day.

On the back nine, he missed a birdie from the fringe and just over 10 feet but made the par. He birdied 12th and then a superb approach left him with a four-footer for birdie on 16th. On the 18th, he hit another superb approach from 129 yards to six feet and holed it for a three-under 69 that took his total to one-under 143.

Lahiri hit 13 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens in regulation and did not miss from inside 10 feet on the greens.

Fleetwood and Bradley lead a bunch of six players, who are trailing them by foiur shots. Francesco Molinari, The Honda Classic winner Keith Mitchel and Billy Horschel led a pack of players at 5-under 139 and it also includes Jhonattan Vegas, Kevin Kisner and Canadian Roger Sloan.

One shot behind them are Masters champions Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson, and Eddie Pepperell, who is playing a regular PGA TOUR event for the first time. Pepperell caught the eye when he showed off his new socks, which have an image of Jack Nicklaus.

Mickelson had a troubled day out and shot 78, which was 10 shots worse than his first round, and he missed the cut by one shot.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy made a little headway with a 70, leaving him seven shots behind.

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