Anirban Lahiri becomes father for the second time, braces up for PGA Championship

Lahiri’s son Avyaan was born before the due date, giving the Indian golfer enough time to prepare for his first major since 2019.

Anirban Lahiri has been paired with K. H. Lee and Tim Feenstra of the U.S. for the first round of the PGA Championship.   -  AP

Anirban Lahiri’s son Avyaan ensured that his father kept the date with his first major since 2019 by being born before the due date.

Lahiri became a father for the second time when his wife Ipsa delivered a baby boy on Monday, giving Lahiri enough time to prepare for the PGA Championships beginning on Thursday.

“Family comes first,” said Lahiri. “I made a mental note that if Avyaan came any later than Tuesday morning, I would have withdrawn. The greatest moment until the last couple of days ago was when our daughter came into our lives (in 2019) and it trumps anything that I can accomplish on the golf course.

“I’m so glad I was there with my wife when my boy came. Avyaan did arrive early … he was due this coming Sunday and it always looked like he was going to come early. Ipsa had gone to a doctor’s appointment on the Thursday of Wells Fargo Championship (two weeks ago) and the doctor told us he could arrive that weekend, and that was why I withdrew from Byron Nelson last week. Ipsa was originally due to deliver their son on May 22, which would have been the final round of the PGA Championship.

“I’m just glad he came early and I’m grateful he’s healthy, Ipsa is doing well and I’m now going to be able to make it in time to play the PGA. Everything seems to have worked out.”

In good company

Lahiri will also have some quality and inspirational company as he tees up in the first round. He has been paired with K. H. Lee, who defended his AT&T Byron Nelson title on Sunday, and Tim Feenstra of the U.S. and they will start their first round at 12.36 pm on Thursday.

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Lahiri is both relieved and excited he can tee up in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills here as it will be his first major since the 2019 US Open. It will be his 17th major, extending his own record of highest number of majors by an Indian male golfer.

In recent weeks, Lahiri has enjoyed a resurgence in form after making the slightest of tweaks to his irons by adding 3.5 grams of weight to the clubheads prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship in March. He showed stunning form where he led into the final round at TPC Sawgrass before finishing runner-up to Cameron Smith of Australia, earning a career high USD 2.18 million.

Since then, he has finished T13, T66, T15 and T6 and risen to 47th place on the FedExCup points list and 12th on the International Team rankings to play in the Presidents Cup later this year. A return to the PGA Championship also brings back good memories as he posted a tied-fifth finish in the 2015 edition at Whistling Straits - India’s best performance by a male golfer in a major championship.

“I feel like I’m playing well and going into a major with some good form behind me always helps. I’m really excited as it’s been a while since I’ve played in a major. Pebble Beach was a while ago and I didn’t really play my best then,” Lahiri said.

“I told my caddie (Tim Giuliano) to go ahead and scope out the golf course earlier in the week. I haven’t really practised that much as we had a couple of false alarms last week and my mind was pre-occupied. However, I feel pretty fresh heading to Tulsa and I’ll have a full day’s opportunity to prepare.”

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