India’s Anirban Lahiri fought swirly conditions and a misbehaving driver to post a 2-under 70 and retained his overnight tied seventh position after the second round of the Sanderson Farms Championship on Friday
Hitting only three fairways at Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi, the 33-year-old carded four birdies against a double bogey for a two-day total of 8-under 136 to trail leader Keegan Bradley by five shots heading into the weekend. Bradley, a four-time PGA TOUR winner, fired a 65 to lead by two from J.T. Poston.
Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan returned a 69 which featured five birdies against two bogeys for a share of 24th position on 139 while Korea’s Si Woo Kim (69), Sungjae Im (70) and K.H. Lee (73) all made the halfway cut set at 141.
Starting from the 10th hole, Lahiri started his round nicely with birdies on Hole Nos. 12, 13 and 15. He made his first gain with a 25-foot conversion and then hit exquisite approach shots to five inches and two feet for his next two birdies.
An error on the sixth proved costly. After missing the fairway, Lahiri landed in the greenside bunker and he needed four more shots to get into the hole for a double bogey six before signing off with a 10-foot birdie on his last hole.
“I just didn’t hit enough fairways. The wind kept swirling and it was a guessing game between the lies and the wind all day. Lost my concentration around the turn and just had to grind it out,” said Lahiri, a former Asian Tour No. 1.
He arrived this week with renewed confidence after finishing tied sixth at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship on Sunday, which was his first top-10 on the PGA TOUR in nearly two years.
The strong finish got him into this week’s field and the Indian star intends to at least maintain his place on the leaderboard, if not challenge for the title this weekend, to get into next week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Vegas through the top-10 exemption.
“I got in a good practice session afterwards, so I’m looking to improve my play over the weekend,” said Lahiri, who is featuring in his sixth straight season on the PGA TOUR.