Inspired by Japanese Hideki Matsuyama's sensational win at the Masters and with long-time coach Vijay Divecha by his side, India's Anirban Lahiri will hope to end his winless streak when he tees up at RBC Heritage on Thursday.
Lahiri was overjoyed to see Matsuyama, one of his good friends on the PGA Tour, register a historic victory in Augusta.
"Hideki is a good friend since we played on the Presidents Cup team. And we knew each other a bit from the Tour before that also. Seeing him play the highest level and win a Masters was a big boost," he said.
Soon after Matsuyama's magnificent win, Lahiri tweeted, "What a win! Hideki you did it ! Time for all of us to step. So happy and proud of you my friend! #asiarising #gointl #Masters #greenjacket." Lahiri also finally re-united for three weeks with his coach Divecha, who arrived right at the start of the Masters week.
Lahiri had been struggling for quite some time before coming up with a solid fifth place finish at the Valero Texas Open.
"It's been tough the last three or four weeks just grinding, grinding, and grinding and working hard. So it felt nice to be rewarded by a nice week (in Texas). And now Vijay can add to that. "Having him (Divecha) is a big change, Had not had him next to me watching my game physically. It is a big difference," said Lahiri, who is used to having Divecha with him in the US every 2-3 months.
Talking of the week in Texas, Lahiri said, "It was really good week, a solid week. Just generally, I think my game was rock solid tee to green. When I've put in a lot of hours a lot of work.
"These last month 45 days, you know, going through that tough stretch on the Florida swing was not easy.
"I was hitting the ball terrible, lots and lots of back and forth with Vijay and of videos and lots of instructions lots of applications. All that work on videos sent back and forth with Vijay was great." Divecha's mantra for Lahiri is - just simplify things.
"He (Lahiri) would not have reached where he is if he was not good, but you should not try to do too much or too many things. That's what we are addressing. Simplifying things," said Divecha, who will spend around three weeks with Lahiri.
On how he tried to help from India, Divecha said, "We realized that there was nothing we could do. Without vaccines I could not travel. Once vaccination was announced, I made sure I got them to travel."
"From India, I was sitting on his shoulders and watching videos and using technology to guide him. I gave him a set of protocols. He would try and call me even at intervals of 15-20 minutes so we could discuss. It worked in Texas, bit being there with him on the range is a different thing." Diveche said "being alone while working on some areas is not easy." "It can be confusing if something is not working. Getting to where he was in Texas took us some time, now hopefully we can work on various things further." The RBC Heritage returns to its traditional post-Masters spot on the schedule after serving as the second event in last year's Return to Golf.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who missed the cut at the Masters, will be headlining the field which also includes Webb Simpson, the defending champion.
Collin Morikawa, current FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau, Will Zalatoris, who was in the final group Saturday at the Masters, are all also in the field.
Other notables teeing it up include Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia, and Daniel Berger.
Gangjee returns to Japan Golf Tour after encouraging India trip
A rejuvenated Rahil Gangjee will look forward to good results at the Token Homemate Cup here this week after his encouraging trip back home as the Indian golfer returns to play in Japan after nearly five months.
Gangjee, who won the Panasonic Open Championship on the Japan Golf Tour three years back in April 2018, has been plying his trade in the country ever since, having earned full playing rights on the tour.
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