Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri’s week stored getting higher even earlier than he reached the tee within the opening spherical of PGA Championship as he obtained to apply alongside the legendary Tiger Woods.
Lahiri, who’s making a Main look after practically three years, made a late resolution to show up at Southern Hills, whereas ready for the arrival of his second child. He then arrived at Southern Hills on Tuesday and when he obtained to the course for a apply spherical on Wednesday, he discovered Woods with out anybody else.
The 15-time Main champion requested the Indian if they may play collectively. Lahiri may hardly consider this stroke of luck.
Lahiri mentioned, “I headed to the primary tee and there have been a number of gamers there, and me and Tiger had been standing round. There was some confusion as to who was going and it was then simply me and Tiger, and he requested me (to play collectively) and why would I ever say no to that invitation! It was simply random, it was serendipity.”
Woods performed 9 holes earlier than he left after which Lahiri obtained to play 9 holes with Bryson DeChambeau, who later withdrew as his hand remains to be not okay after a surgical procedure.
“I had a very enjoyable day, an attention-grabbing day. It was fairly the shock,” mentioned Lahiri.
“Bought in late final evening and actually, I’ve not gotten a lot sleep the previous few days. I used to be simply going about my work and I do know he usually practices within the morning as a result of each time Tiger is at a serious, the crowds let you recognize the place he’s at,” mentioned Lahiri.
Lahiri has performed as soon as beforehand with Woods over three holes when the American famous person jetted into New Delhi in 2014 for a flying go to. However since competing on the PGA TOUR in 2016, the Indian has had the possibility to know the 82-time PGA TOUR winner over time.
“Each time I see him, we are saying hi there and we chat. I truly haven’t performed a lot golf with him, so to really exit and play 9 holes, form of a chill day was a variety of enjoyable. He was tremendous relaxed and really pleasant, and we talked so much about our widespread pursuits together with Arjun (Atwal), Jeev (Milkha Singh), and Hero (MotoCorp).
“He clearly talked in regards to the adjustments to Southern Hills since he was final right here and it was good to get insights on how he sees it on a number of the holes,” mentioned Lahiri.
Lahiri had come near pulling out of the occasion as his spouse, Ipsa, was anticipating their second child. He had made up his thoughts to drag out if the newborn didn’t come until Tuesday.
However his son Avyaan obtained him out of the dilemma by arriving forward of time to affix the household. Lahiri has an elder daughter, too.
As soon as all was positive, it was time to make some last-minute preparations. Then got here the completely surprising probability to play with Woods, who had gained at Southern Hills in 2007 for certainly one of his 4 PGA Championship wins.
Woods left after 9 holes and Lahiri was then joined by long-hitting DeChambeau on the again 9.
Later Chambeau withdrew from the event as he’s nonetheless recovering from a hand damage.
“He (DeChambeau) was swinging at 60% and nonetheless flying it 320 yards, it’s simply unbelievable what he’s managed to do with pace and distance. It was actually surprising,” mentioned Lahiri.
“I used to be joking with my caddie that we had a day the place we form of did all of it. We present up after which play with Tiger and the again 9 with Bryson. On a regular basis, I used to be making an attempt to absorb what the golf course is all about.”
Lahiri, who completed tied fifth within the 2015 PGA Championship, is having fun with run of kind following his runner-up end at THE PLAYERS Championship, which is the PGA TOUR’s flagship event.
Since then, he has completed T13, T66, T15 and T6 and risen to forty seventh place on the FedExCup factors listing and twelfth on the Worldwide Staff rankings to play within the Presidents Cup later this yr.
He mentioned Southern Hills reminded him of a number of the golf programs in Thailand, however is aware of the challenges this week might be on the placing surfaces.
“This golf course is all in regards to the inexperienced complexes. You must navigate your self and place your self. In case you have energy and size, nice.
“In the event you don’t, you’ll be able to nonetheless compete and contend and that’s why I feel it’s such main venue as everybody has an opportunity to win this. It doesn’t closely favour one type of play,” he mentioned.
“It’s a lot like one thing you may play in Thailand by way of surfaces because it’s widespread Bermuda grass. Clearly the greens are bent grass and really extreme. Numerous it is going to be about controlling spin and controlling flight.
“The course is extraordinarily agency, and I used to be making an attempt to determine how far it’s going after it hits the bottom. Even when laying up on the par 5s, you’ll be able to have an 8 iron rolling 60 yards if it lands on the incorrect place.
“I’m actually glad I had the entire day to take a look at the golf course and get my prep work in.”
Lahiri performs with KH Lee, who final week defended his title at AT&T Byron Nelson, and Tim Feenstra at 12.36 pm native time.