Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri on Tuesday said his focus this week is to sharpen his "short game and iron play" and put up a good show at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass starting on Thursday.
Lahiri has endured a tough phase in the PGA Tour this season, missing seven cuts out of 12 tournaments so far. Last month, the Indian golfer missed three successive cuts before breaking the streak with a T-74 finish at Arnold Palmer Invitational last week.
"It has been a difficult last month, I had different departments of my game challenge me. In Phoenix, my putting was a big issue, at Riviera, my driver wasn't.... I have been chipping away and working on different departments," Lahiri said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
"Last week wasn't pretty either, I made the cut but it was a tough test. On the weekend my iron play let me down. Last month has been challenging but I have made steady progress.
"I am working on some improvement with my coach remotely. There is always something around the corner that can change it. I found some good rhythm with my driving and putting. This week I am focusing on getting my short game and iron play sharp again. Definitely working my way back into playing better golf."
Despite not winning on the PGA Tour where he has been a regular since 2016, Lahiri has managed to keep his card, though on one occasion he had to come through the Korn Ferry Finals. His best finish in 2022 has been T-46 at Farmers Insurance Open.
"I had some major struggles with iron play, I haven't hit it close. I haven't scrambled well, so all these don't add up to a good result. I am just working on cleaning what happens in the middle part of the hole," he said.
"My work off the tee has been good, my work around the greens has been decent but in between, there has been a major lapse. It is kind of glaring.
"The way I have played last few weeks, most of my drop shots have come from the fairway and it is criminal at the level I am playing. I am working on it and it is a matter of time before that trend changes." Talking about the roadmap this season, Lahiri said: "The road map for me is to build some confidence and momentum for the rest of the season. The one important thing is to hit quality shots in competition, that is the starting point.
"There are guys who have missed 4-5 cuts and then they will have that big win out of nowhere. So need to work on quality of golf and train in the right direction and let things happen." Talking about the week ahead, Lahiri said: "The Players championship is unofficially the fifth major and everyone approaches it differently. For me, I haven't had a lot of success. I have struggled with some specific holes at TPC Sawgrass.
"There are few holes where I have to come up with a different strategy but at the end of the day when you play a setup like this, you need to have all departments firing. I am driving well. I am just keeping my head down and working on my iron play and approach play." It is the sixth time that Lahiri will be competing at the Players Championships.
"You need to build momentum. On a golf course like this need to stay focused through 72 holes. So the plan is simple, try to hit as many fairways you can and take advantage of the pins which you can be aggressive," he said.
"Experience also makes a lot of difference. The first 2-3 times that I have played here I made a lot of mistakes in terms of strategy, being over aggressive, so I am better prepared this time."
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