Glimpses of vintage form but Anirban Lahiri craves consistency after first start of 2021

Anirban Lahiri blazed the middle two rounds of the Sony Open in Hawaii with career-best low rounds in Hawaii as he carded 65 and 64 in the second rounds.

V Krishnaswamy January 19, 2021 12:35:43 IST
Glimpses of vintage form but Anirban Lahiri craves consistency after first start of 2021

Anirban Lahiri blazed the middle two rounds of the Sony Open in Hawaii with career-best low rounds in Hawaii as he carded 65 and 64 in the second rounds. That put him in a perfect position to make a charge for his first top-10 finish at the Holiday Isle and give his 2021 PGA Tour season a perfect start.

Alas, “the consistency” he has been striving for even as he showed glimpses of vintage form deserted him when he needed it most. It seemed ironic that Lahiri was craving consistency in a week he shot two of his best rounds at the picturesque Waialae course. But that’s golf.

A disappointed Lahiri speaking from Hawaii, said, “My game was in great shape. In the first round, I did not make good the opportunities that came my way. And in the final round putting, which was fine on the second and third days, let me down. So it all comes to consistency. I need to put together four good rounds.”

For Lahiri, it has actually been a just couple of errors here and there – a misjudgement, a stroke of bad luck, and maybe a three-putt or two and it all adds up to a lot. “It’s been some unforced errors,” he said.

Yet he chooses to take the positives from the first of action at the Sony Open. “My game is in good shape and a little work in a couple of areas should set it right, I am hopeful. I have a few more starts coming up in the next few weeks like at the American Express next week in California and then Farmers at Torrey Pines. And possibly Waste Management in Arizona. So lots to look forward to in the coming weeks,” said the ever-smiling Lahiri.

Glimpses of vintage form but Anirban Lahiri craves consistency after first start of 2021

File image of Anirban Lahiri.

Summing up his final round, Lahiri said, “It all started on the second hole. Indecision with what club I wanted to hit off the tee meant it led to misjudgment. That unforced led to a bad double bogey where it should not have been anything worse than a bogey. But I think the biggest issue today was my putting. I just missed a lot of putts today, something that hasn't happened this week.”

With preferred lies being used on the final day when the organisers expected heavy showers, Kevin Na, a much-loved character, rallied superbly for his fifth PGA Tour win.

Na birdied the 18th hole to secure a one-stroke victory over Chris Kirk and Joaquin Niemann to win the Sony Open in Hawaii, his fifth PGA TOUR career win

For Na, it was his second final-round comeback victory. At the 2018 Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, Na closed with a 6-under 64 to erase a one-shot deficit and win by five shots. This time the win margin was just one over Niemann and Chris Kirk, whose second place in his final start under the Major Medical Exemption, earned him a status that will last the whole season.

Niemann’s runner up finish this week made him the first player since Webb Simpson (2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, 2019 Wyndham Championship) with consecutive runner-up finishes in consecutive weeks on TOUR

The top Asian finishers were Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama (68) and Korean Si Woo Kim (67) in T-19th place.

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