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Back from break, Anirban Lahiri eyes Texas Open route to Masters

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After his sensational second spot at The Players Championship, the Indian golfer enters this week’s event knowing victory will get him a berth in the year’s first Major


Lahiri is determined to build on his resurgence at TPC San Antonio, the Texas Open venue(AP)



Anirban Lahiri returns to action after a career-high runners-up finish at The Players Championship, PGA Tour’s flagship event, a fortnight ago when he tees up at this week’s $8.6 million Valero Texas Open. The world No. 89 will again challenge for victory to earn a spot in the Masters tournament, the year’s first Major, to be played next week.

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The Indian star is determined to build on his resurgence at TPC San Antonio, the Texas Open venue. The winner in Texas, who is not otherwise exempt, will receive the final spot in the Masters field.

“Who doesn’t think about the Masters?” said Lahiri. “I understand I’m going to need a win, just like everyone else who are not already in Augusta will be hoping to do so.”

Lahiri has played in the Masters twice, finishing T49 and T42 in 2015 and 2016 respectively during the previous high phase in his career. The 34-year-old is back to those heights after leading into the final round at The Players before finishing second to Australia’s Cameron Smith, who won by a shot. He earned $2.18 million.

“I’m looking forward to going back out, I’m excited,” said Lahiri. “I’ve had a nice 10 days off at home.” His young daughter picked up an infection and the family has fought “a bit of a cough and cold, but we’re towards the end of it.”

Lahiri returns to the Texas Open further boosted as he had finished fifth last year. A technical tweak by adding about 3.5 grams to his clubs has also raised the level of his iron play.

“Equipment wise, I’m all sorted and just trying to build on it. Just the fact that I have what I need to play well, and I can trust myself a little more, I can stop trying harder and kind of let it happen just like I did a couple of weeks ago. In terms of the process of letting go and just playing, The Players was an important week to me,” said Lahiri.

Lahiri is ranked 45th on the FedExCup standings, PGA Tour’s prize money table, to secure spots in the playoffs.

“I have good memories from last year,” he said. “It’s a tough course, especially when windy. It can get firm and fast and it’s another course that you need to drive it good. Strategically, you need to be very sound in how you navigate the course as there is a lot of trouble. That works to my advantage as strategically I have a good plan. It comes down to the execution.”


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