Stress-free Lahiri looking for long-awaited win in Korn Ferry finals

Anirban Lahiri, who last won the Hero Indian Open in 2015, will be desperate to end the wait for a title. A win in the Tour Championships would take him to the top of the ‘Finals 25’ — the separate list based on the three-event Korn Ferry Series Final.

Anirban Lahiri has already secured his PGA tour card for 2019-20.   -  Getty Images

Having secured his PGA Tour card for a fifth successive year, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri will now hope to break his long title drought when he tees off at the Korn Ferry Tour Championships.

Lahiri, who hasn’t been in the best of form, had to make his way back to the elite Tour via the Korn Ferry Series, like he did in 2015.

The Indian was T-7 at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Open and then T-6 at the Albertsons Boise Open to ensure that he would have a PGA Tour card for 2019-20.

Lahiri registered his two best finishes of 2019 after failing to add any more Top-10s after the Mayakoba Golf Classic in late 2018.

The 32-year-old, who last won the Hero Indian Open in 2015, will be desperate to end the wait for a title. A win in the Tour Championships would take him to the top of the ‘Finals 25’ — the separate list based on the three-event Korn Ferry Series Final.

That would raise his priority status and among other events, he would also secure a spot on the PLAYER Championship.

Lahiri’s colleague, Shubhankar Sharma, who has missed the cut in the first two events, needs to finish solo sixth or better to get his card.

“I have been playing well and would try and win this. It’s been sometime since I contended,” said Lahiri’s who last pro win came back in 2015, when he won his home open, the Hero Indian Open.

The last few seasons in US have seen him grow as a golfer but he is still looking for his first win, though he has been runner-up at the Memorial besides a few other Top-5 finishes.

“It is good to be in the Tour Championships without the pressure of playing for the card. So I am in good frame,” he added.

Shubhankar, who had won the Maybank Championship last year, said: “I know what I need to do. It is now about going out there and getting the scores.”

Lahiri is being seen as among the favourites after his consistent finish last two weeks and the other contenders could be Scottie Scheffler, who won the first event, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Open. He has been in contention almost half the year on the Tour.

This is a course that requires a lot of strategy and Lahiri, when he is stress free, could be the man to watch.

Daniel Berger, a member of 2017 Presidents Cup for US, is a two-time winner on PGA Tour and he could be looking for a win. The course which plays long could suit his long hitting.

Other possibilities are Peter Uihlein, who played most of 2019 on the PGA Tour, but he missed the cut last week and needs a strong finish in the finals.

Stewart Cink, a Major champion, is also in the field. He didn’t have a great 2019 after a strong 2018 finish.