India’s Anirban Lahiri enjoyed his first top-10 on the PGA TOUR in nearly two years following a tied sixth finish at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship on Sunday.
The 33-year-old Lahiri closed his week with a 2-under 70 which included four birdies against two bogeys to finish on 13-under 275, five shots behind winner Hudson Swafford.
His top-10 performance ensured a start at the upcoming Sanderson Farms Championship, and was also his first top-10 result since the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico in November, 2018.
When Lahiri entered the week, he did not book a return flight to his home base in Florida and instead registered for a seat on the charter plane to the Sanderson Farms Championship, even though he was ninth reserve when entries closed last Friday.
“I felt really good after my first event in Napa. I had two really good rounds to finish that event as well, so I got it rolling here with some of that. Definitely, I’ve managed to build that snowball and build some momentum. Hopefully I use this going forward and kind of keep this going and maybe even play a little better,” said Lahiri, who finished T36 in the Safeway event after opening with a 74.
“I did not book a return flight and I booked myself on the charter, so this is going to be good for my confidence because I backed myself to do this.”
Lahiri did not have the best of starts this week, going 4-over through his opening three holes on Thursday before fighting back for an opening 69. He followed it up with a 72 before lighting up the course with a flawless 64 on Saturday which pushed him up the leaderboard.
“The last couple of seasons, I’ve been very disappointing, and where I find myself in my eligibility is not great, so I need to play myself into some of the events that I like to play. Definitely have a lot of opportunities in the fall that I need to take and build on that. Hopefully get closer to being really in contention on Sunday. I’ve had outside chances, but the goal is to kind of get to the last few with a realistic chance or maybe even a lead,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri ranked first in putting average per green in regulation for the week as he made birdies on Hole Nos. 6, 8, 12 and 15. He made bogeys on Hole Nos. 3 and 11.
China’s Xinjun Zhang, who started the final round in fourth position, endured a disappointing final round as he closed with a 74 to finish tied 11th, his second top-15 finish of the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season after coming in T14 at the Safeway Open two weeks ago. He dropped three bogeys, one double bogey against a birdie in his opening 11 holes before salvaging his card with birdies on Hole Nos. 12 and 14.