San Antonio, Texas, USA, 04-04-2021
Anirban Lahiri zooms into fifth place in penultimate round of Valero Texas Open
Source: PGA Tour
Anirban Lahiri, searching for his maiden PGA Tour title, fired a second straight three-under-69 in round three of the Valero Texas Open to make a gain of three spots and move up to fifth place at seven-under 209.
American Jordan Spieth and Englishman Matt Wallace share the lead at 12-under-204.
The 33-year-old Lahiri’s ball-striking stood out on a day he missed several putts from inside 12 feet. Anirban scored four birdies against a lone bogey on Saturday.
“I'm really happy with the way I played. I think this is the most solid I've played tee to green in a while. I felt really calm and, you know, I kind of knew what I was doing and it's really nice. I do feel like I left quite a few shots out there. I hit it really good. So yeah, I think I would have liked to be maybe two, three shots better, but still got a look at it tomorrow. If I can go out and do the same things I did today, maybe make a couple more, it would be nice to get in the hunt,” said Lahiri.
The two-time Presidents Cup International Team member has been working hard on simplifying his swing thoughts with long-time coach Vijay Divecha, who lives in India.
“My ball striking hasn't been anywhere near my usual standards. I think I just got down to it with my coach. We've been doing a lot of work back and forth and just trying to simplify things. I think I was making things more complicated than they need to be and I think that's been the key this week. A golf course like this is really good if you can have good strategies and that's really helped me.”
Since making his PGA Tour debut in 2016, Lahiri, a seven-time winner in Asia, has come close on a few occasions to joining countryman Arjun Atwal as a winner on the tour. He holds a career best finish of tied second at the Memorial Tournament in 2017 but has largely struggled this year with five missed cuts in seven starts.
With Spieth chasing a 12th PGA TOUR win and his first since 2017 and Wallace hunting for a maiden title, Lahiri knows he needs a solid performance to stay in the mix on the back nine Sunday.
“I mean, there's a lot of good players. I'm just going to have to come out with a clear plan on which holes to attack, which holes to kind of be maybe a little more conservative. The idea is just to, you know, when you start coming back towards the clubhouse when you get to 15, you want to have a shot at it. And quite honestly, that's my goal. You know, on the homeward stretch, if I can give myself a look, I'm pretty sure I can get it done,” added Anirban.
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