Lahiri sets body clock afresh for Genesis Open on West coast

“I am looking forward to a great week at Riviera. The body seems to be coming back to the correct time zone, slowly but surely. There is a major rain/flood situation expected on Friday-Saturday. So, we don’t know how much golf we will get in. That, obviously makes it important to get off to a good start,” Lahiri said.

Anirban Lahiri will be hoping to make every opportunity count   -  AFP

After flying through various time zones over the last two weeks, India’s Anirban Lahiri arrived into California in time for the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club for what will be the last leg on the West Coast.

Lahiri made a decent start on the PGA Tour this season, including a third place at CIMB, though late last year in October, when the current season kicked off in Malaysia. In five starts in 2016-17, Lahiri has made four cuts, and has decent finishes with all four inside tied 28.

He was tied third in Malaysia and tied 13 in RSM Classic in November. In 2017 he missed the cut in Hawaii but was tied 25 at CareerBuilder, before he played in Dubai for tied 19 and then again in Malaysia on the Asian—European Tour event, Maybank Championships, where he was tied seventh.

“I am looking forward to a great week at Riviera. The body seems to be coming back to the correct time zone, slowly but surely. There is a major rain/flood situation expected on Friday-Saturday. So, we don’t know how much golf we will get in. That, obviously makes it important to get off to a good start,” Lahiri said.

On his return to Riviera after a year, he said, “One year later the course definitely feels more familiar. I have most of my game plans ready so that helps cutting down preparation time for sure. I am feeling much more confident and self assured than last year. Hopefully I can produce a good result and push towards a berth at Augusta.”

At the same course, when the event was called Northern Trust Open, Lahiri was tied 39th, which included two good rounds of 67 and 69 on second and third days.

Two weeks after Genesis, Lahiri will be back in India for the Hero Indian Open, on Asian and European Tours, which he won in 2015 and finished second in 2016. This year, called the Genesis Open, it has 20 of the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings but talk still revolves around how Tiger Woods had to pull out because of back spasms in Dubai.

Woods, whose charity Tiger Woods Foundation, is involved here, played the first round in Dubai and then withdrew. A few days later he announced pulling out of Genesis.

Woods came back to competitive golf after 17 months at the Hero World Challenge and played full four rounds. That’s been the only time he has played full four rounds, as he missed the cut at Farmer’s Insurance at Torrey Pines in last week of January.

While Woods is missing, Jordan Spieth is coming off his first career victory in California, last week at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Riviera, the host course of this week’s Genesis Open, has among the toughest greens on the PGA TOUR to putt on. Last season, Riviera was the toughest course for putts inside 10 feet and inside five feet.