Lahiri turns in a hat-trick of birdies to make the cut

Anirban Lahiri produced a a gritty performance to make a comeback from ‘nearly missing the cut’ and ensure a chance to make amends over the weekend at the Valero Texas Open here.

Lahiri had a bogey-bogey start in the second round and then Lahiri struggled all the way to the 16th tee,   -  AFP

Anirban Lahiri produced a a gritty performance to make a comeback from ‘nearly missing the cut’ and ensure a chance to make amends over the weekend at the Valero Texas Open here.

Lahiri had a fine start with a 68 in the first round, his ninth score of 70 or below in 10 starts this season.

However, he had a bogey-bogey start in the second round and then Lahiri struggled all the way to the 16th tee, at which point he was six-over for the day and three-over for the tournament, and was certain to miss the weekend.

The cut was expected to fall at even but Lahiri produced three birdies in succession to squeeze inside the cutline.

The Indian had a hat-trick of birdies in the first round, too.

Lahiri bogeyed the first two holes, birdied the third and again bogeyed fourth. A bogey on seventh meant he turned in three-over 39 and he was even for the tournament. A double on 10th and a bogey on 15th meant he was almost out before the three birdies hauled him back.

Bud Cauley (66) went out in the morning and got to 8- under but later in the afternoon Tony Finau (65) produced a great round to get into a share of the lead as the weekend approached.

Finau had a chance of getting a share of the course record of 63, which he would have got with a birdie on 18th, but instead he went into the water and bogeyed. But that was still enough to give him a share of the lead at eight—under.

Earlier he holed a wedge shot from 105 yards for an eagle on 11th.

Cauley is yet to win after six seasons as a pro, while Finau won the Puerto Rico Open last year.

The 23-year-old Australian Cameron Smith (65), Kevin Chappell (68), Robby Shelton (69) and veteran 1994 Texas Open winner Bob Estes (69) are all in tied-third at seven-under.

Jimmy Walker (69), the winner of the PGA Championship last summer, said he will start treatment for Lyme disease after this event. It may keep him from playing at New Orleans next week.

Ian Poulter, Europe’s Ryder Cup star, missed the cut and lost his fully exempt status on the PGA TOUR.

Apart from Poulter, also missing the cut were US amateur champ Curtis Luck (73-72) in his pro debut, Billy Horschel (73-74), Luke Donald (76-72), Zach Johnson (74-74) and Keegan Bradley (77-74).