Lahiri has a lot to make up for this week at Players

This week, at the Players Championships, the biggest event outside of the Majors, and the flagship event of the PGA Tour, Lahiri could set right most, if not all the things.

Anirban Lahiri knows it is an important outing to get himself into the right frame for the coming week. (File Photo)   -  Getty Images

Anirban Lahiri has more than a few things to set right this week at the Players Championships as he is in danger of dropping out of top-100 for the first time in more than four years.

He is also yet to register a top-10 finish in this calendar year and has not tasted a win since the Hero Indian Open in February 2015.

Yet, he feels he is striking the ball well but not scoring well.

This week, at the Players Championships, the biggest event outside of the Majors, and the flagship event of the PGA Tour, Lahiri could set right most, if not all the things.

And there could not be a better setting than the Players.

This week, the event includes a very strong field led by world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, current FedExCup points leader Justin Thomas, last week’s champion Jason Day, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and defending champion Si Woo Kim, for the USD 11 million showpiece which will feature every single player in the top-50 of the world.

Lahiri also has a score to settle with the Players, the venue TPC Sawgrass and the 18th hole.

Lahiri, never one to mince words and often very hard on himself, admitted, I’m definitely looking forward to this week. I think I’ve got some demons to exorcise. I played pretty well last year except for the 18th and it’ll be nice to get back out there and exact some revenge.”

“I feel I can play good on this golf course. It’s also good I’ve already played here a few times, I know what to do, know what the conditions are and know where the misses should be. It’s a week where I feel well prepared for.

Last year Lahiri seemed set to make the cut when he arrived at the 18th tee box in the second round. He had just come off a birdie on 16th and a par on 17th. Even a bogey on 18th would have got him inside the projected cutline at 1 over.

He did not make a bogey — he made a six-over 10 on that single hole and exited. He hit three shots into the water and finally got to the green in eight and two-putted for double digits on that hole.

Lahiri, who exorcised somewhat demons at last year at President’s Cup, when he made up for a missing a putt inside four feet, which possibly cost the internationals the Cup, is seeking to do the same at Players.

He has somehow managed to erase memories of last year’s Players, but added, I don’t even remember if it was an eight, 10 or a 12. It was a big number. I’ve already decided I’ll hit 2-iron off that tee regardless of the pin and regardless of the wind.”

“There are holes that don’t fit your eye and you’ve got to adjust. If you shoot a three there, it’s a bonus but I’ll be aiming for a four. There may be an occasion I might have to hit driver if I’m in contention or if I’m one back.

Lahiri has missed the cut at the Players twice, but is eager to set that right this week.

I feel a lot of departments are working but my scoring hasn’t been as good as I would like it to be. That’s where I’m going to be focusing on my work over the next two days here, in and around the greens and working on getting the speed right on the greens and making sure I’m comfortable with some of the shots that you get around here, said Lahiri, who has not broken par in four rounds at TPC Sawgrass.

Lahiri began the 2017-18 PGA season strongly with two early top-10s in Malaysia (T-10 at CIMB) and South Korea (T-5 at CJ Cup @ Bridges), but that was in September-October.

Since then, Lahiri’s form has been rather ‘off’ He has made six cuts in nine starts, but none inside Top-25. The best was T-26 Genesis Open. Now he stands at 100 in world rankings and trying hard not to fall outside the elite group.