Valero Texas Open: Anirban Lahiri moves into top-10 with a 69, Cameron Tringale leads
Lahiri's rise up the leaderboard will inject the confidence he needed in his game following a lean spell in 2021, where he has missed five cuts in seven starts.
San Antonio: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri battled to a three-under 69 to move up to tied eighth after the second round of the Valero Texas Open, five shots behind leader Cameron Tringale.
After turning in 35 with a birdie on two, the former Asian no 1 endured a rollercoaster back nine with three birdies, three bogeys and one eagle at TPC San Antonio for a two-day total of four-under 140 on Friday.
Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama came home in 74 to slip to T14 while Korea's Sung Kang will enter the weekend on 142 after returning a 76, some 10 shots worse than his opening round effort.
Tringale made five consecutive birdies from hole numbers 13-17, tying the longest birdie streak of his PGA Tour career as he chases a career first victory in his 297th start.
He leads by two from Jordan Spieth, a 14-time winner but not since 2017. Spieth shares the second place with England's Matt Wallace.
Lahiri holed a 20-foot eagle on 14 on his back nine but left the course with a bitter taste in his mouth following a closing birdie on the par-5, 18th hole when his second shot ended in a watery creek.
Still, his rise up the leaderboard will inject the confidence he needed in his game following a lean spell in 2021, where he has missed five cuts in seven starts.
"I've been working on my ball striking and it was nice to see it come together. I was happy that I made a lot of birdies, dropped a few but trying to keep a clean card over the weekend," said Lahiri.
He opted to skip last week's Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship to work hard at his game despite finishing T6 in the same event last September, which was his last top-10 on the Tour.
The decision seems to be paying off.
"I feel like I'm moving in the right direction and it's progressing in a good way. I still need to stay on top of it and keep building on it," Lahiri said.
Spieth, making his sixth start in his home state event, continued to show a resurgence in form as a second round 70, thanks to birdies on 14 and 15, kept him in the title hunt. He has finished in top-10 in four of his last six tournaments.
Matsuyama celebrated becoming the first Japanese man to win a major golf title on Sunday when he captured the Masters by one stroke after a back-nine battle at Augusta National.
Even Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga weighed in, telling reporters the performance had been "really wonderful."
Colombian Camilo Villegas moved into the lead with an eight-under 64 which included nine birdies and a bogey, while Sung Kang, 33, is two shots back with Cameron Tringale at 66.