Lahiri pulls out of Korn Ferry finals due to Hurricane Dorian

In Anirban Lahiri’s absence, his colleague Shubhankar Sharma will lead the Indian challenge.

Anirban Lahiri has been staying in Florida’s Palm Beach Gardens along with his family for the last few years.   -  Getty Images

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri, who had secured his PGA Tour card for a fifth successive year, on Saturday pulled out of the Korn Ferry Tour Championships to be with his family as Hurricane Dorian threatens to hit Florida.

“Unfortunately had to withdraw from @tourchampulf to head back to Florida and evacuate the family. Cat-4 #HurricaneDorian2019 estimated to make landfall in 72hrs. See you all @PGATOUR in a couple of weeks. #familyfirst,” Lahiri tweeted.

An increasingly menacing-looking Hurricane Dorian is gathering strength and threatens to slam Florida on Monday as a Category 4 storm. The state is under emergency as authorities have been urging residents to stockpile a week’s worth of food and supplies.\

READ | Sportstar Open to start from August 31

Lahiri, who had made his way back to the elite Tour via the Korn Ferry Series like he did in 2015, was set to play at the tournament but decided to withdraw at the last moment in the wake of the impending storm.

Lahiri has been staying along with his family in Florida’s Palm Beach Gardens for the last few years after earning his PGA tour card in 2015.

The Indian was T-7 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Open and then T-6 at the Albertsons Boise Open to ensure that he would have a PGA Tour card for 2019-20.

In his absence, Lahiri’s colleague Shubhankar Sharma, who has missed the cut in the first two events, will lead the Indian challenge. He will hope for a good week as he needs to finish solo sixth or better to get his card.

Shubhankar, who had won the Maybank Championship last year, said: “I know what I need to do. It is now about going out there and getting the scores.”

Lahiri was being seen as among the favourites after his consistent finish last two weeks and the other contenders could be Scottie Scheffler, who won the first event, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Open. He has been in contention almost half the year on the Tour.

ALSO READ | Tiger Woods underwent minor knee surgery last week

Daniel Berger, a member of 2017 Presidents Cup for US, is a two-time winner on PGA Tour and he could be looking for a win. The course which plays long could suit his long hitting.

Other possibilities are Peter Uihlein, who played most of 2019 on the PGA Tour, but he missed the cut last week and needs a strong finish in the finals.

Stewart Cink, a Major champion, is also in the field. He didn’t have a great 2019 after a strong 2018 finish.