Lahiri seeks to erase memories of previous Presidents Cup

Anirban Lahiri will look to erase memories of previous Presidents Cup after he was handed another chance by Captain Nick Price for the 2017 edition of the prestigious tournament which begins at the Liberty National Golf Club here on Thursday.

Two years ago, Lahiri missed a short putt on 18th and lost his singles match on the final day, which tilted the match score in favour of US by just one point.   -  AFP

Anirban Lahiri will look to erase memories of previous Presidents Cup after he was handed another chance by Captain Nick Price for the 2017 edition of the prestigious tournament which begins at the Liberty National Golf Club here on Thursday.

Two years ago, Lahiri missed a short putt on 18th and lost his singles match on the final day, which tilted the match score in favour of US by just one point.

Lahiri, who became the first Indian to play in the biennial Presidents Cup, was handed another chance to complete the unfinished business when he was selected by Price as his second and final pick for the 2017 team that includes three Australians, three South Africans and one each from Japan, Korea, Venezuela, Canada, Argentina and India.

The competition features virtually all the leading players from US and the ‘Rest of the World’ barring Europe.

The Presidents Cup features the United States against the Internationals, made up of players from all over the world except Europe while the Ryder Cup pits the US against Europe.

The event will be held Thursday through to Sunday. Lahiri, who has played for India at the Asian Games, Olympics and World Cup, has also represented Asia in the EurAsia Cup.

“Team events like the Presidents Cup mean a lot. It is the time you play not only for yourself, but also for the others on the team. So, the pressure is there but it is something we all enjoy and thrive on,” said Lahiri.

Lahiri added that he has made some great friendships because of the 2015 Presidents Cup.

“The friendships and guidance I have got following the last Presidents Cup in Korea in 2015 are invaluable. Guys like Adam Scott, who has become a great friend, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, who I already knew, the South Africans from Branden Grace to Louis Oosthuizen to Charl Schwartzel and all others are ones I can call upon anytime. And, then there is the Captain Nick Price. Truly, Nick’s advice and guidance is priceless.”

Lahiri had said he was pleasantly surprised by Price’s choice of him as a second pick for the Internationals team.

He admitted his form till then had been below his expectations despite a runner-up finish at the Memorial. He was also T-3 at CIMB in October 2016, which formed part of the 2016-17 season for PGA Tour.

Around the time he was picked for Presidents Cup, he also made it to the third leg of FedExCup as the last player in Top-70. And then buoyed by the confidence of making Presidents Cup team, he went on to finish T-9 at the BMW leg of FedExCup.

Lahiri has also said his selection was an evidence of the faith Nick Price and the team has in Lahiri’s ability and he said it gave him great confidence.

The teams:

International team: Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Jason Day (Aust), Adam Scott (Aust), Louis Oosthuizen (SAF), Marc Leishman (Aust), Charl Schwartzel (SAF), Branden Grace (SAF), Si Woo Kim (Kor), Jhonattan Vegas (Ven), Adam Hadwin (Can).

Captain’s picks: Emiliano Grillo (Arg), Anirban Lahiri (Ind)

Captain: Nick Price

US team: Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka, Kevin Kisner, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Chappell. Captain’s picks: Charley Hoffman and Phil Mickelson

Captain: Steve Stricker.

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