Pacific Palisades (California):
Anirban Lahiri will be back on the tee box after a week’s gap, as he gets set for a debut at the famous Riviera Country Club, where he plays in the USD 6.8 million Northern Trust Open.
Lahiri, who is ranked 49th in the world, came onto the PGA Tour as a Web.com Tour graduate. A T-28 finish in the CareerBuilder Challenge was followed by a missed cut and then T-31 at Phoenix Open.
The starry field in Northern Trust Open includes six of the top eight players in the World - Jordan Spieth (No. 1), Rory McIlroy (No. 3), Rickie Fowler (No. 4), Bubba Watson (No. 6), Justin Rose (No. 7) and Dustin Johnson (No. 8).
Lahiri, who hit the spotlight last year with two European Tour wins, including the Hero Indian Open, in three weeks went on to log a tied fifth at PGA Championships and also made the Presidents Cup team.
“It was a great year, but now I need to build on it,” said Lahiri, who will play his first two rounds with Cameron Tringale and Jason Gore.
Added Lahiri, “It’s been somewhat inconsistent so far. Up and down with my ball striking. I had some issues, but I got them fixed with my driver last week at the performance centre in Carlsbad.”
As for his putting, he said, “I am also working on a more consistent putting routine. I am getting more comfortable on these courses and grasses. I am also working on some things with the Stocktons, Senior and Junior, for putting. I feel like my A game is around the corner. I am thoroughly enjoying the competition and the fields each week.”
On his friend, Hideki Matsuyama winning on Phoenix, Lahiri was full of praise.
“He is a great guy and I am very happy for him. He deserves the win and a lot more.”
Matsuyama was Lahiri’s teammate at the Presidents Cup.
The Riviera is a historic course and its membership has included celebrities like Humphrey Bogart, Walt Disney and Dean Martin. Spieth, who narrowly missed out on getting into a four-way play-off last year, wants to add his name to the winners’ list.