Anirban Lahiri was comfortably inside the cut line before he exited in a horrific manner with a six-over 10 on a single hole at The Players Championship here.
At three-under after 17 holes, following his three-over 75 in the first round, Lahiri was even par for 35 holes and the cut seemed to be coming at one-over. Though it finally fell at two-over.
That’s when the horror story began for Lahiri, who had made eight cuts in 10 starts before this week. He hooked his first drive left into the water. Then he hit another one into the lake. And then another. Six shots on, he was still at the tee.
He finally landed on the fairway in his fourth try and from 125 yards his eighth shot saw him get to the green. He two—putted for a 10 and was at that point in time 6—over for the tournament to miss the cut by four shots.
Yet, Lahiri, showed remarkable mental strength and tweeted, “That did not end well!! @THEPLAYERSChamp. Fought hard the other 17 holes today. Will try and snowball the positives going forward!!”
Earlier, Lahiri birdied three times in first six holes and seemed to be on way to a low round. He bogeyed the eighth, birdied the 12th, and again dropped a shot on 14th only to make up with birdie on 16th. He was still three-under for the day and even for the tournament.
A par on 17th and then the disaster struck.
At the top, Louis Oosthuizen and Kyle Stanley posted a 6-under 66 to share the lead and open a two-shot lead over JB Holmes, who fell out of a tie with bogeys on his last two holes for a 69. The leaders were 9-under 135.
Oosthuizen played bogey-free and finished with a birdie on the par5 ninth. Stanley had eight birdies as the wind increased later.
Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy had a rough day — Johnson making only one birdie for a 73 and McIlroy managing through nagging back pain for a 71. They were even par. They were five behind and could still make a dash on the weekend.
But Jordan Spieth (75) headed home early missing the cut for the third straight year. His went into water on the island green 17th, where he double bogeyed and not even a birdie on 18th could help him. He shot 73 on first day.
The surprise of the first two days was Vijay Singh, the 54-year-old Fijian who was making putts from everywhere until a three-putt bogey on the 18th. He still shot 68 and goes into the weekend only three shots out of the lead.
The cut was at 2-over 146, and there will be another cut because more than 78 players advanced to the weekend.
Lahiri was not the only one with three trips to the lake, as Zac Blair hit three shots into the water on the par-3 17th and made a nine.
Phil Mickelson hit his wedge on the 17th into the water for a double bogey and a 72. Defending champion Jason Day didn’t make up any ground, either, trading birdies and bogeys for a 72.
Rickie Fowler shot 74 and joined Johnson and McIlroy at 144. Ian Poulter shot 67 and was in the large group at 5-under 139.
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