Anirban Lahiri looks for a good finish at Wells Fargo C'ship

The Indian golfer has had a modest season so far and needs a few good finishes as the season moves into its latter stages.

Putting has often left Anirban Lahiri down this season. Photo: AFP

India's Anirban Lahiri has been paired with Ernie Els, the four-time Major champion, at the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour.

The 49-year-old Els is one place behind Lahiri in the FedEx Cup rankings this season, at 162.

Lahiri has had a modest season so far and needs a few good finishes as the season moves into its latter stages. He has slipped to 213 in the world rankings and currently occupies the 161st position in the FedEx Cup rankings.

Lahiri's last win came on the European Tour — at the Hero Indian Open in 2015. The last four seasons have established him on the PGA Tour but he is still searching for his breakthrough win. This year, he also needs to play well over the next few months to ensure that he keeps his record of making the playoffs each year.

Lahiri's best performance this season has been a T-10 finish at Mayakoba. It was in 2018, when the season had begun. It has been his only top-10 finish this season. “I know I need some good finishes, though I feel I am in decent shape. I have not scored well,” he said.

Read | Lahiri-Sharma finish tied 22nd despite a fine front nine at Zurich Classic

Putting has let him down often this season, but last week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans there were times when his putting form seemed to have returned. But he will need to be more persistent.

Jason Day is the defending champion; he is seeking to become the first player to win two titles in a row here. If he wins again this time, he will be the second player to win the title here more than once, after Rory McIlroy.

The field has 14 of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup rankings. Phil Mickelson is back for his 16th visit in 17 editions, and is yet to win here.

Tiger Woods, the Augusta Masters champion, decided to skip the event to focus on the PGA Championships in two weeks' time. The field includes three previous Masters champion — Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia, and Danny Willett.

Also in is Webb Simpson, whose home lies minutes from Quail Hollow. Simpson has missed the cuts here in the last two years.

One of the tougher courses on the Tour, Quail Hollow in Par-71 and 7,554 yards long. It possesses the famous stretch called the ‘Green Mile’, rated among the toughest on Tour.

Jeev Milkha Singh, S. S. P. Chawrasia to contest the Volvo China Open

Jeev Milkha Singh and S. S. P. Chawrasia will be among a handful of Indians competing at the 25th Volvo China Open.

 

One of Jeev’s four European Tour wins came here in 2006 and he remains — till date — the only Indian to have won it. Apart from Jeev and Chawrasia, the other Indians are Gaganjeet Bhullar, Shiv Kapur, Khalin Joshi, Ajeetesh Sandhu and Viraj Madappa. Bhullar, Joshi and Madappa won once each in 2018, while Kapur won three times in Asia in 2017.

Chawrasia is hoping to regain the form that led him to six Asian Tour titles when he tees up for “one of his biggest tests.”

Chawrasia’s last victory was in 2017 when he won on home soil. He has only one top-10 finish on the Asian Tour last year and missed the cut in all four events he played in the Middle East since the start of 2019. The 40-year-old, however, bounced back by featuring in the weekend rounds in Malaysia and India last month. He sees that as a sign of better things to come as he readies himself for the challenge at the Volvo China Open.

Jeev’s win in 2006 at the Volvo China Open had ended a long drought for him as he had previously won in 1999.

He won three more times in 2006, including twice in Japan. He rose to Top-50 and played the Masters for three years, from 2007.

He was also the Asian Tour player of the Year in 2006 and 2008. His last European Tour was the Scottish open in 2012, where he injured himself. That injury has seen him fall ever since. “Maybe Volvo China Open will revive my happy memories,” said Jeev.

Bhullar won his maiden European Tour title at the Fiji International and is looking to make his way back to Top-100 and higher, while Joshi won the Panasonic Open on Asian Tour. Madappa won the Take Solutions, also on Asian Tour, last year.

Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana is also hopeful of continuing his lightning start to his rookie season following his breakthrough in Bangladesh earlier this month.