Lahiri qualifies for his third US Open

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri qualified for his 16th Major and third US Open on Tuesday.

At 10-under Lahiri was second behind Luke Guthrie from Jacksonville. Guthrie shot 64 at Brookside and 67 at Scioto.   -  Getty Images

India’s Anirban Lahiri carded a three-under 67 followed by a flawless seven-under 65 at the 36-hole sectional qualifier here to qualify for his third US Open.

Lahiri last played a Major at the PGA Championships in August 2018. This year he missed out on Masters and the PGA. It will be his 16th Major and the third US Open, which is the only Major, where he has not made the cut. His best is Tied-5 in the 2015 PGA Championships. His last pro win came at the 2015 Hero Indian Open at home.

The 31-year-old Lahiri first carded three-under 67, with seven birdies and four bogeys at Par-70 Scioto Country Club. He then played a superb seven-under 65 which included seven birdies at the Par-72 Brookside.

At 10-under Lahiri was second behind Luke Guthrie from Jacksonville. Guthrie shot 64 at Brookside and 67 at Scioto.

“It doesn’t feel good to watch majors from home so definitely a new perspective heading to the US Open. Safe to say I’m hungry to play well in the big events,” Lahiri said.

“I played really good in the qualifiers. My iron play was definitely the standout. Feel good about the game at the moment. Really like the two courses we played. Old school tree lined and you had to shape shots,” he added.

Shifting focus from Muirfield Village, where he had finished Tied 52 on Sunday, to Brookside Golf and Country Club, barely seven miles away, Lahiri took a major step in trying to turn his fortunes around as he strung together two superb rounds to qualify for his first Major of the year.

“I felt very comfortable and got on a roll in my second round. Glad to finish well. Now looking forward to Pebble Beach,” he said.

“It felt good to put 36 holes together. Have been playing well last couple of weeks but making too many mistakes. Even my first round today (at US Open qualifiers) I made four bogeys. The best thing is that I’m starting to make birdies in bunches and that’s very encouraging,” Lahiri said.

On Monday, Lahiri had four birdies on front nine, but also gave away three bogeys. On the back nine, he had three birdies in four holes, but also a bogey in between.

In the second round of the 36-hole qualifier, Lahiri had two birdies on front nine and five on the back nine of the course and there were no bogeys.

“Even in the Memorial week I made 18 birdies so obviously the golf is very good. I am working on sharpening the scoring so that I can really go low over multiple rounds,” he added.

The other Indian in the fray, Shubhankar Sharma missed out on qualification after he carded 69 at Brookside. It included an eagle but the 22-year-old closed with a double bogey. At Scioto he shot 71 with three birdies and four bogeys for 71 and ended at 140. The first alternate’s spot went at 139.

Three Indians, Shiv Kapur (71-70), Ajeetesh Sandhu (76-73) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (72-WD) failed to qualify from Walton Heath, Surrey. Also missing out was another Indian Rigel Fernandes (75-73) also missed out in Streamstrong, Florida.

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