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The Players Championship 2022 golf: India’s Anirban Lahiri finishes second after gritty run

Lahiri eventually lost out on the title to Australia’s Cameron Smith by a single shot. It was the Indian golfer’s joint best-ever finish on the PGA Tour.

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri equalled his best-ever result on the PGA Tour with a second place finish at The Players Championship 2022 in Florida, USA, on Monday. The Indian’s previous best was a T2 finish at the Memorial Tournament in 2017.

Anirban Lahiri, with 12-under, ended just one-shot behind Australia’s Cameron Smith after what was a rollercoaster final day at the TPC Sawgrass.

Two-time Olympian  Anirban Lahiri went into the final day of the Players – PGA Tour’s most prestigious tournament – with a one-shot lead over the chasing pack. The Indian managed to maintain his lead through the seven remaining holes of the third round, which had to be played on Monday after Sunday’s play was suspended due to bad weather.

The opening phases of the fourth and final round, however, saw Smith leapfrog the Indian on the leaderboard with five birdies in his first six holes compared to Lahiri’s one.

The par-three eighth hole proved detrimental for Anirban Lahiri as the 34-year-old’s tee veered way off course into the bushes, forcing him to take a drop and end with a double bogey. The Indian responded well with a birdie in the ninth.

With Smith also recording three back-to-back bogeys to end the front nine, there was a five-way tie at the top, with both Smith and Lahiri in the fray, going into the final nine holes of the competition.

Anirban Lahiri then carded an eagle in the 11th and a birdie in the 17th. Smith, though, was relentless, putting four back-to-back birdies from the 10th to 13th and then another one in the 17th.

One shot behind going into the par-four final hole, Lahiri was handed a window of opportunity after Smith’s nervous bogey on the 18th. Needing a birdie to force a playoff for the title, the Indian golfer could only manage a par and had to settle for the second place.

“I want to win. I’ve been here seven years; haven’t gotten over the line yet. That’s definitely a monkey I want to get off my back. Today was as good an opportunity as any. I gave it a good go. Made some mistakes today that I could have avoided, but that’s golf,” Anirban Lahiri said.

A win at the tournament would have made Anirban Lahiri only the second Indian after Arjun Atwal (2010 Wyndham Championship) to win on the PGA Tour and the third Asian golfer after Korea’s K.J. Choi (2011) and Si Woo Kim (2017) to win The Players.

By Utathya Nag

Photo : olympics.com

Website : olympics.com