Lahiri returns to action at star-studded Genesis Open

The Genesis Open will also feature all big names including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth.

Anirban Lahiri will play alongside Americans Luke List and Sam Saunders in the first round of the Genesis Cup at the Riviera Country Club.   -  AFP

Anirban Lahiri is all set to return to action at the star-studded Genesis Open after a month-long break after he and his wife Ipsa announced the birth of their daughter Tisya, who was born on February 4.

“Tisya’s birth was the best thing ever in our lives and we feel really blessed. It does make me more motivated as I am back in action at the Genesis Open,” said Lahiri. The 31-year-old Lahiri, who featured at the Sony Open in Hawaii and Desert Classic, missed the cut in the latter event. He then took time off to prepare for parenthood.

 

This week’s Genesis Open will also feature all big names including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth. Woods will be making his 13th appearance at the tournament, and will play with Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy in the event’s opening rounds.

Last year, Bubba Watson joined Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan as three-time victors in Los Angeles. Apart from Woods, the field’s star attraction will be Mickelson who arrives fresh off win number 44 at Pebble Beach on Monday.

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There is also news that the event at Riviera Country Club will receive elevated PGA Tour status for 2020. That means a reduced field, from 144 players this year to 120 next winter, and that the winner will be receiving a three-year tour exemption and a higher tournament purse. That will put the tournament alongside Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Invitational and Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament.

Lahiri, who was tied 26th last year and tied 64th the year before that at the Genesis Open, will play alongside Americans Luke List and Sam Saunders in the first round.

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The Indian has fallen to 167th in world rankings and is aiming to get back into rhythm to make the cut for the International team for the 2019 Presidents Cup for the third successive time. Lahiri, on his fourth year on the PGA Tour, is still looking for his maiden win despite coming close. He finished 99th in last season’s FedExCup standings following four top-10 finishes.

“I love the course and am all geared up for it,” said Lahiri of the Riviera Country Club. “I feel at home on the PGA Tour and I feel my game is in the right place. But I am not stressing about the results.”